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Transcript
Website: Studying the Word of God
Authors: Brian K. McPherson and Scott McPherson
Web Address (URL): biblestudying.net
Evolution Study Outline
Section One
I. Introduction: Plotting the Road Ahead
A. In this study we will take a closer look at the debate between evolution and creationism
concerning:
i. the origin of the universe,
ii. the origin of life,
iii. and the origin of species.
B. The study will be broken down into a few main sections:
i. Some of the common objections and perceptions in the origins debate to
overcoming the initial entrenchment and gridlock that typically short-circuit the
origins debate before it gets underway.
ii. Defining and establishing the actual competing theories in the origins debate,
evolution and creation.
iii. Presentation of the evidence.
II. The Origin of Theories
A. In science, all theories start with observation
“Science – Science covers the broad field of knowledge that deals with observed facts and the
relationships among those facts…Scientists use systematic methods of study to make observations
and collect facts. They then work to develop theories that help them order or unify related facts.” –
Worldbook Encyclopedia, Contributor: Joseph W. Dauben, Ph.D., Professor of History and the History of
Science, City University of New York.
“Empiricism – a philosophical approach that views experience as the most important source of
knowledge. It is the philosophical outlook of most scientists. Empiricists try to answer as many
questions as possible by using information gathered by the senses.” – Worldbook Encyclopedia,
Contributor: W. W. Bartley, III, Ph.D., Former Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution on War,
Revolution, and Peace, Stanford University.
“Scientific theory – In attempting to explain things and events, the scientist employs (1) careful
observation or experiments, (2) reports of regularities, and (3) systematic explanatory schemes
(theories). The statements of regularities, if accurate, may be taken as empirical laws expressing continuing
relationships among the things or characteristics observed. Thus, when empirical laws are able to satisfy
curiosity by uncovering an orderliness in the behaviour of things or events, the scientist may advance a
systematic scheme, or scientific theory, to provide an accepted explanation of why these laws obtain.”
– Britannica.com
“Science, philosophy of, Elements of scientific enterprise – From the beginning, scientists themselves
have been interested not merely in cataloging and describing the world of nature as they find it but in
making the workings of nature intelligible with the help of compact and organized
theories…Empirical data and their theoretical interpretation – First are the empirical elements. The
task of science is to explain actual events, processes, or phenomena in nature…those empirical
facts…On the one hand, the facts in question may be discovered by using observational methods…” –
Britannica.com
1
B. In order to maintain clarity, we must be able to distinguish the observations, the empirical
data or evidence, from the theory that attempts to explain them
III. Evidence and Interpretation
A. An indispensable element that often goes overlooked in debates is…
i. The ability to discern between evidence and a particular interpretation of that
evidence
ii. The ability to discern between the observed data and the various theories
explaining that data
iii. In origins debates, both views are, in fact, looking at and utilizing the same
evidence
1. It is not the case that evolutionists are looking at one set of empirical
data while creationists are looking at an entirely different set of
empirical data
2. The empirical data doesn’t change
3. It’s only the interpretation of that data that differs
a. (This is why it is so important to let the data, the empirical
evidence, speak.)
B. There are only 3 ways to disprove any given interpretation
i. First, either a single, decisive piece of evidence or, perhaps more usually, a
combination of evidences can be shown to be incompatible with a particular
interpretation
ii. Second, if more evidence is shown to rationally lean toward an alternative
explanation, then an interpretation is generally considered to be defeated
iii. Third, a particular interpretation can be disproved if it is shown to be irreparably
self-contradicting in its various components.
C. Characterization and Mischaracterization through Biased Language
i. In debates, language, adjectives, and adverbs used by a particular side to
describe or characterize the evidence can become synonymous with the evidence
itself
ii. Distinguishing between evidence and the presuppositions of one interpretation
also requires the ability to distinguish between the stark characteristics of the
evidence itself and the characterizations that a particular side would like to
ascribe to that evidence.
IV. Section Two – Preliminary Application to the Origins Debate
A. Should creationism be disqualified on the grounds that it results from unscientific
processes?
B. Premature Dismissal in the Origins Debate: Is Faith Unscientific? (Part 1)
i. 3 basic suggested reasons for dismissing creationism from scientific
consideration.
1. Dismissing creationism on the grounds that it is based upon
presupposition, “blind faith,” and not upon evidence such as
observation and experimentation, as science should be.
2. Dismissing creationism on the grounds that it is un-falsifiable.
3. Dismissing creationism on the grounds that it does not make
predictions, which is a central part of the scientific process.
ii. Evaluating the grounds for creationism’s dismissal that it is not scientific, but is
instead blindly presuppositional
1. What is meant by the idea of faith?
a. Faith is simply another word for “belief”
i. (This is especially true in the Judeo-Christian
tradition, from which creationism springs.)
b. In a modern, colloquial sense, faith is often thought of as
being synonymous with “blind faith” or assumption.
i. You believe because you don’t have evidence.
ii. You believe in spite of evidence.
iii. That is what makes it faith.
2
2.
iv. That is the way people often use the term “faith” in
common, everyday discourse.
v. This can also be called a “pre-suppositional”
approach to faith since it is faith based upon things
that are effectively “presupposed to be true.”
vi. Some religions, particularly Platonism and eastern
religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, have
historically asserted this kind of inner, subjective
path to belief apart from external evidence.
c. If creationist “faith” is synonymous with “blind faith” or
“something you hold to be true regardless of evidence,”
creationism is disqualified immediately as unscientific.
i. Science has to do with conclusions that can be
reached from observation and evidence, not simply
assumed.
Where does the notion of faith as presuppositional, subjective, and
blind come from?
a. As discussed in detail in our “Why Christianity?” article
series, the world’s religions fall into two distinct categories
i. (Syncretistic religions are a mixture between the
following two categories.)
ii. Propositional Mysticism and its faith
1. Disregard for the external, physical, and
material.
2. Truth is subjective and learned through
inward enlightenment that is independent of
the external realities of the physical,
material world.
3. Degrade and disregard the role of external
experience in favor subjective, inner
discovery when it comes to perceiving truth.
iii. Evidentiary Monotheism and its faith
1. Insist upon external demonstration for all
truth claims.
2. Subjective, internal perception is
subordinated to what can be objectively
known.
3. Judaism and Christianity originated as
evidentiary religions.
b. Many modern Christian sects now center on a presuppositional approach to truth.
i. This pre-suppositional approach in modern
Christianity is most recently a product of the
influence of Calvinist (or Reformed) sects, which
assert that belief is something directly inserted into
someone by God and kept their by God’s unilateral
action, regardless of evidence.
ii. These pre-suppositional teachings are the result of
Propositional Mysticism influencing later Christian
traditions through syncretistic processes.
iii. This idea enters into the hybrid half-Christian, halfplatonic Gnosticism, and from those roots into the
Roman Catholic views asserted by Ambrose and
Augustine in the fourth century.
iv. These concepts were maintained and even further
articulated over time until asserted in their more
3
3.
recognizable, modern form in the Reformed tradition
of John Calvin (from which springs Calvinist
theology).
Judeo-Christianity began as a faith that was grounded in external,
observable, objectively veriable evidences and experiences.
a. Examining the earliest Judeo-Christian writings to see how the
religious texts themselves define the religion – consider Moses
and Jesus, the respective founders of these traditions.
i. Moses did not come simply insisting that others
accept him as God’s messenger or to simply follow
their hearts on the matter. Instead, he gave external
signs to the people of Israel and Egypt.
Exodus 3:16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your
fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you,
and seen that which is done to you in Egypt: 17 And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of
Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the
Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey. 18 And they shall hearken to thy
voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto
him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days’
journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God…4:1 And Moses answered and
said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD
hath not appeared unto thee. 2 And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said,
A rod. 3 And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent;
and Moses fled from before it. 4 And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by
the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: 5 That they may
believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of
Jacob, hath appeared unto thee. 6 And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand
into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was
leprous as snow. 7 And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his
bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh. 8
And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign,
that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. 9 And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe
also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and
pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon
the dry land.
ii. Jesus is recorded as providing a multitude of external
signs for the very purpose that those signs would
demonstrate the veracity of his claims.
John 5:36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me
to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
John 10:24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to
doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. 25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not:
the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.
iii. Jesus’ disciples followed this same pattern, providing
external signs to demonstrate the truth of their
message.
Mark 16:20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and
confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
4
Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be
spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 4 God also bearing them
witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according
to his own will?
b.
The Judeo-Christian tradition strongly rejects merely internal,
subjective “truth” as seen in passages that outright condemn
“truths” that originate in men’s hearts only.
Jeremiah 14:14 Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them
not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision
and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.
Jeremiah 23:16 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that
prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the
mouth of the LORD.
c.
d.
The types of information that can be learned from these
evidences also includes 2 closely-related categories:
i. 1) Theological concepts
ii. 2) Moral rules
Examples of natural experience as the basis of belief in the
earliest Judeo-Christian tradition – the words of Paul in
Romans 1-2.
Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith (4102) to faith (4102): as it is
written, The just shall live by faith (4102). 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all
ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which
may be known of God is manifest (5318) in them; for God hath shewed (5319) it unto them. 20 For
the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the
things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.
i. Paul speaks the visible world as providing evidence
for theological concepts, such as God’s existence and
his ability, “his eternal power and Godhead.”
ii. Paul places morality in the category of truths deduced
from objective observations, not one’s own
subjective opinion.
1. Paul states that sexual morality is revealed
by the physical structure of the male and the
female body as observed in the natural
world.
Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the
uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and
creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts,
to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and
worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause
God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which
is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their
lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves
that recompence of their error which was meet.
iii. These are appeals and arguments based upon what is
externally, observable.
5
1.
e.
These are not arguments that truth is learned
through subjective perception rather than
external evidence.
Examples of natural experience as the basis of belief in the
earliest Judeo-Christian tradition – concerning the central
doctrine of resurrection.
i. God himself puts Abraham into an external situation
to force Abraham to ponder the experience of death
and the deductions that can be made from it.
Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the
promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
19 Accounting (2049) that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he
received him in a figure.
f.
ii. The Greek word translated as “accounting” here in
Hebrews 11 is “logizomai” (Strong’s No. 3049)
1. Logizomai means to “to count up or weigh
the reasons, to deliberate, to reckon up all
the reasons.”
2. When God wanted to put Abraham to a test,
he commanded Abraham to kill his son
Isaac.
3. Faced with the experience of his son’s death,
Abraham deliberated and pondered these
things and the result was his belief, or faith,
that God could raise Isaac from the dead.
4. Even in such matters, what a man believes is
depicted as being a result of contemplating
the things he experiences, in this case,
human death.
Adam also himself saw proof of the Creator firsthand.
i. Chapter 2 of Genesis provides an expanded, more
detailed account of the creation of Adam on Day 6 of
the creation week.
Genesis 1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters
brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it
was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and
let fowl multiply in the earth. 23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. 24 And God said,
Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the
earth after his kind: and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle
after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over
the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every
creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of
God created he him; male and female created he them.
ii. Genesis 1 clearly records that God created the birds
on Day 5 and all the land animals on Day 6 before
the creation of man.
iii. But, in Genesis 2, after He makes Adam, God once
again created both the birds and land animals right in
front of Adam while standing there in the Garden of
Eden.
6
Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils
the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in
Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed…15 And the LORD God took the man, and
put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it…18 And the LORD God said, It is not good
that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 19 And out of the ground the LORD
God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see
what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
iv. Adam saw proof with his own eyes that there was a
Creator and that the being interacting with him was
that Creator.
g. Since the creationist model arises out of an evidentiary
approach, it cannot be rejected on the grounds that it is
unscientific because it is based upon presupposition.
C. Premature Dismissal in the Origins Debate: Is Faith Unscientific? (Part 2)
i. The second suggested reason for dismissing creationism is on the grounds that it
is un-falsifiable.
ii. Modern science and most modern scientists subscribe to the necessity for any
theory to be demonstrated by empirical means.
1. Empiricism involves the acquiring of knowledge or information by
means of actual experience and observations.
“Empiricism – in philosophy, the attitude that beliefs are to be accepted and acted upon only if they
first have been confirmed by actual experience.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Empiricism – a philosophical approach that views experience as the most important source of
knowledge. It is the philosophical outlook of most scientists. Empiricists try to answer as many
questions as possible by using information gathered by the senses.” – Worldbook Encyclopedia,
Contributor: W. W. Bartley, III, Ph.D., Former Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution on War,
Revolution, and Peace, Stanford University.
2.
3.
The requirement of empiricism is at the heart of the scientific method
itself, and is connected with “falsifiability,” another closely-related
aspect of the scientific method.
“Falsifiability” was first proposed as a criterion for valid science by Sir
Karl Raimond Popper.
“Popper, Karl Raimund – Popper, Karl Raimund (1902-1994), was an Austrian-born philosopher
whose central concern was analyzing the nature of science…Popper was born in Vienna, Austria, and
taught there until 1937, when he left the country because of the rise of the Nazis. He served as
professor of logic and scientific method at the London School of Economics and Political Science from
1949 to 1969. Queen Elizabeth II knighted him in 1965, making him Sir Karl Popper.” – Worldbook,
Contributor: Ivan Soll, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin, Madison.
a.
4.
Popper was chiefly focused on distinguishing between science
and non-science, between what was and was not scientifically
valid.
According to Popper, the distinction between what is science and what
is not science is the criterion of falsifiability.
“Positivism, Logical Positivism and Logical Empiricism, The earlier Positivism of Viennese heritage,
The verifiability criterion of meaning and its offshoots – It was in coming to this juncture in his critique
of Positivism that Karl Popper, an Austro-English philosopher of science, in his Logik der Forschung
(1935; The Logic of Scientific Discovery, 1959), insisted that the meaning criterion should be
abandoned and replaced by a criterion of demarcation between empirical (scientific) and
transempirical (nonscientific, metaphysical) questions and answers—a criterion that, according to
7
Popper, is to be testability, or, in his own version, falsifiability; i.e., refutability. Popper was impressed
by how easy it is to supposedly verify all sorts of assertions—those of psychoanalytic theories seemed to
him to be abhorrent examples. But the decisive feature, as Popper saw it, should be whether it is in
principle conceivable that evidence could be cited that would refute (or disconfirm) a given law,
hypothesis, or theory.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Empiricism, Criticism and evaluation, Criticism and evaluation – One important philosopher of
science, Karl Popper, has rejected the inductivism that views the growth of empirical knowledge as the
result of a mechanical routine of generalization. To him it is falsifiability by experience that makes a
statement empirical.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
a.
5.
According to Popper, for a theory to be considered scientific,
it had to be possible for that the theory to be disproved by
empirical evidence.
i. This did not mean a theory had to be actually
disproved, but merely that it would be at least
possible for evidence to exist, which could disprove
it.
b. Such a criterion does not conflict with the evidentiary
approach to truth discovery that underlies the Judeo-Christian
tradition.
Both empiricism and falsifiability are essential to the approach used by
most scientists today.
“Empiricism – a philosophical approach that views experience as the most important source of
knowledge. It is the philosophical outlook of most scientists.” – Worldbook Encyclopedia, Contributor:
W. W. Bartley, III, Ph.D., Former Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and
Peace, Stanford University.
“Science, philosophy of, Historical development, The 20th-century debate: Positivists versus
historians – Meanwhile, the qualified Realism of Planck and Hertz was carried further by such men as
Norman Campbell, an English physicist known for his sharpening of the distinction between laws and
theories, and Karl Popper, an Austro-English philosopher recognized for his theory of falsifiability,
both of whose views reflect the explicit methodology of many working scientists today.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
iii. The belief in God is often categorized as “unscientific” on the grounds that God
transcends (or exists beyond) the universe and, therefore, is not subject to
empirical verification or falsification.
“Atheism, Atheism and metaphysical beliefs – In coming to understand what is meant by “God” in such
discourses, it must be understood that God, whatever else he is, is a being that could not possibly be seen or
be in any way else observed. This, in effect, makes it a mistake to claim that the existence of God can
rightly be treated as a hypothesis and makes it a mistake to claim that, by the use of the experimental
method or some other determinate empirical method, the existence of God can be confirmed or
disconfirmed as can the existence of an empirical reality…God could not be a reality whose presence
is even faintly adumbrated in experience, for anything that could even count as the God of JudeoChristianity must be transcendent to the world. Anything that could actually be encountered or
experienced could not be God…But then there is no way, directly or indirectly, that even the
probability that there is a God could be empirically established.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004
Deluxe Edition
“God, V Grounds for Belief, A Varieties of Disbelief – Arguments against belief in God are as numerous
as arguments for it. Atheists absolutely deny the existence of God…Positivists believe that rational
inquiry is restricted to questions of empirical fact, so that it is meaningless either to affirm or deny
8
the existence of God (see Positivism).” – "God," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998
Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
iv. Whether or not the general idea of God is directly falsifiable is not really all that
consequential to the debate for 2 reasons.
1. First, even if the general idea of God is deemed to be non-scientific on
the grounds that it is not “falsifiable” by empirical means, creationism
and evolution are on equal footing.
a. Creationism and evolution are on equal footing because,
whether the first cause is claimed to be a supernatural being or
an impersonal force or process of some kind, first causes
cannot be tested, repeated in a lab, or falsified.
b. First causes, whether supernatural or otherwise, must be
indirectly demonstrated to be the most reasonable conclusion
on the basis of the parts of the theories that can be tested and
falsified.
2. Second, even if the general idea of God is deemed to be non-scientific
on the grounds that it is not “falsifiable” by empirical means,
creationism is scientific and falsifiable.
a. Contrary to popular belief, creationism is not simply the idea
that a God exists.
i. That is theism.
1. In contrast to pantheism, in theism,
including Judeo-Christian theism, God is
viewed as existing outside the material,
created universe.
a. Thus, God is said to transcend the
material universe.
2. If “God” is left simply as some undefined,
transcendent being beyond the universe,
then truly such a vague concept of God
cannot be disproved or falsified.
b. Creationism (and the Judeo-Christian tradition it comes from)
doesn’t merely assert that a God exists, but instead
creationism is specifically the assertion that God is necessary
as a Creator.
i. Identifying God as Creator takes the concept of God
from merely a transcendent and undetectable being
and makes him detectable by means of his interaction
through his creative work in the universe.
ii. From its earliest statements, the Judeo-Christian
tradition has defined God as the necessary Creator of
the universe.
1. This ties the definition of God directly to the
characteristics of the universe.
c. Creationism’s definition of God makes the claim that the
universe will have characteristics that require foresight in
order to exist as they do.
i. The assertion, “God exists” cannot be falsified
because it provides no predictions or claims about
evidence for God.
ii. But what about the much more defined hypothesis
“The characteristics of the universe necessitate a
cause that has intelligent foresight”?
1. Is this hypothesis equally un-falsifiable?
Certainly not.
9
d.
A definition of God as the necessary and purposeful Creator of
the universe is sufficiently well-defined to make predictions
and claims that can be compared to the evidence and,
therefore, potentially falsified.
i. If the evidence (the observable characteristics in the
universe) are explainable in terms of automatic,
routine processes that proceed without foresight, then
the necessity of an intelligent, foresighted cause will
be disproved and falsified.
ii. Conversely, if the characteristics of the universe exist
in such a way that their formation defies automatic,
routine processes that proceed without foresight or
defies even the probability for such automatic,
routine causes, then the necessity of intelligent
foresight will be upheld as a property of the
universe’s cause.
1. Consequently, the initial Judeo-Christian
presentation of God as the necessary creator
of the universe is both falsifiable in principle
and potentially provable by the evidence.
3. A theory becomes un-falsifiable when its claims become detached from
the evidence.
a. This happens in one of 2 ways.
i. First, when a theory’s primary claims are defined in
such a way that they have no relationship to the
observable evidence.
1. Such as the general idea “a God exists who
transcends the universe.”
ii. Second, when the theory itself is accepted despite the
fact that its primary claims have been disproved by
the evidence.
b. Creation passes both of these criteria.
v. However, creationism is scientific because it is falsifiable – this is proven by the
fact that many modern scientists consider its key elements to have been falsified.
1. Creationism and the age of the universe
2. New kinds of plants and animals do not emerge from previous kinds,
but all kinds of organisms will only produce their same kind.
a. Verses 11-12, 20-22, and 24-25 of Genesis 1 state that all the
plants and the animals multiply “after their kind.” New kinds
of plants and animals do not emerge from previous kinds.
“Creationism, I INTRODUCTION – In the second half of the 20th century, the most visible and
politically active creationists maintained that the entire universe was created within the past 6000 to
10,000 years…II EARLY VIEWS ON CREATION – Despite mounting evidence of the great antiquity
of life on earth (see Paleontology), many Christians continued to accept the traditional biblical account
of a relatively recent six-day creation in the Garden of Eden, culminating in the appearance of Adam and
Eve.” – "Creationism," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All
rights reserved.
“Creationism, Creationist beliefs – Strict creationists take the Biblical story of the Creation literally.
They believe that God created the universe just thousands of years ago, and that He created all life
forms within six 24-hour days…All creationists believe that each species (type of life form) on earth
has remained relatively unchanged since the Creation, and that no species has evolved from any
other.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Raymond A. Eve, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, University of Texas,
Arlington.
10
3.
4.
The Biblical assertion of a “young” creation is said to be disproved by
evidences for a much older earth and universe based on…
a. Geologic evidences (such as the geologic column and
radiometric dating)
b. Astronomical considerations (such as the billions of years it
takes starlight to reach the earth).
Evolutionist measure the age of the earth and the universe and conclude
it is much older than the Biblical claim.
“Hubble's constant – The reciprocal of Hubble's constant lies between 10 billion and 20 billion years,
and this cosmic time scale serves as an approximate measure of the age of the universe.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
5.
The Biblical (creationist) claim that kinds only reproduce their own
kind is said to be falsified.
a. This claim is said to be falsified by evidence demonstrating
evolution’s claim that new species evolve from distinct,
preceding species using…
i. The fossil record
ii. Morphology (similar structure shared by distinct
organisms).
“Creationism, II EARLY VIEWS ON CREATION – Before English naturalist Charles Darwin
published On the Origin of Species in 1859, most people in the West-including the great majority of
scientists-accepted creationism in some form, although they rarely used that term to describe their views.
Despite mounting evidence of the great antiquity of life on earth (see Paleontology), many Christians
continued to accept the traditional biblical account of a relatively recent six-day creation in the Garden of
Eden, culminating in the appearance of Adam and Eve. Writing in 1852, American commentator William
B. Hayden estimated that one-half of the Christian public remained loyal to the traditional view; the
other half had adopted one or the other of two popular reinterpretations of the creation account in
the biblical book of Genesis. These reinterpretations permitted Christians to accept the accumulating
paleontological evidence without abandoning their faith…III DARWIN AND EVOLUTION – Darwin
nevertheless left room for an initial act of creation: "I believe that animals have descended from at most
only four or five progenitors, and plants from an equal or lesser number," he wrote at the conclusion of his
book. He added that the presence of analogous physical structures across many different species
implied "that probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended
from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed" (see Adaptation). Darwin later
expressed regret over this concession to creationism, and for the rest of his life he ruled out any role
for God in the origin and development of living things.” – "Creationism," Microsoft® Encarta®
Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
vi. Conclusions concerning dismissing creationism as unfalsifiable.
1. Evolutionists consider the various claims of the Biblical account of
creation to be falsifiable, but they consider the very same claims to be,
in fact, falsified by known empirical data.
2. One simply cannot say that a theory’s claim has been empirically
proven false while at the same time asserting that the same claim is
unscientific because it is “un-falsifiable.”
3. The Biblical model of creation is fit for scientific consideration and
cannot be dismissed as unscientific on the grounds that it is
unfalsifiable.
D. Premature Dismissal in the Origins Debate: Is Faith Unscientific? (Part 3)
i. A vital part of the scientific process is the ability to make predictions.
1. Worldbook’s Encyclopedia article on the “Inductive Method” describes
the role of induction and prediction in science.
11
“Inductive method – To make discoveries, scientists first obtain general theories by using induction.
From these general theories, they then deduce new, particular predictions. These predictions are
tested by observation and experiment. The test results may be used in a new inductive step to obtain a
better general theory.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Morton L. Schagrin, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy,
State University of New York, Fredonia.
ii. Given the role of predictions in the scientific method, evolutionists critique
creationism theory as unscientific on the grounds that it does not involve
predictions or even that predictions are not even possible from the Biblical
descriptions.
1. Dr. William Moore of Wayne State University of Detroit, Michigan
asserted the necessity of being able to make predictions, inferences, and
computations from any particular theory.
a. To support this necessity, Dr. Moore quoted Dr. Richard
Feynman, 1965 Nobel-prize winner for physics, and explained
Feynman’s description of the scientific method.
“This is one scientist’s statement as to what scientific method is. He says, ‘In general, we look for a new
law by the following process. First, we guess…Don’t laugh. It’s really true. Then we compute the
consequences of the guess to see if this law that we guessed is right, what it should imply. Then we
compare those computation results with nature, with say, to experiment or experience. We compare it
directly with observation to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple
statement is the key to science. It doesn’t matter how smart you, who made the guess, or what his or her
name is. If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.’ This short, whimsical even
facetious statement is actually a fairly concise and complete statement for the scientific method, as
simple as it is. One of the most interesting phrases in Feynman’s description…” – Dr. William Moore,
“The History of Life: Creation or Evolution?” Debate: Dr. Kent Hovind vs. Dr. William Moore at Wayne
State University in Detroit, Michigan, Creation Science Evangelism, Pensacola, FL, www.drdino.com,
Windows Media Video
b.
Later on in the debate, Dr. Moore returns to this statement
from Feynman and applies it directly as a criticism of
creationism, asserting that the creationist model and approach
cannot make predictions, and therefore, are not scientific.
“Regardless of how many kinds there were, maybe we could figure that out if we could determine
what distinguishes one kind from another in a genetic sense. What is the barrier? When would we know
that we’ve crossed from one kind to another?...In order to begin to do that sort of research, which actually I
do…but first before I could write a sensible proposal, you’d have to tell me what a kind is so I could begin
to figure out what it is that I’m looking for that distinguishes them. There has to be some aspect of your
theory that leads to predictions. We have to be able to do these computations that Feynman alludes to.
And I just don’t see it in Genesis. There’s no room for computation.” – Dr. William Moore, “The
History of Life: Creation or Evolution?” Debate: Dr. Kent Hovind vs. Dr. William Moore at Wayne State
University in Detroit, Michigan, Creation Science Evangelism, Pensacola, FL, www.drdino.com, Windows
Media Video
iii. Examples of creationist claims making predictions that are empirically
computable and testable.
1. The creationist “guess” or “theorization” that animals only reproduce
after their kinds does make empirically testable predictions.
Genesis 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree
yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth
brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was
in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 And the evening and the morning were the third
day…20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl
12
that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. 21 And God created great whales, and every
living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every
winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful,
and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. 23 And the evening and the
morning were the fifth day. 24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his
kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25 And God made
the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon
the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
a.
2.
3.
The predictive nature of these statements from Genesis 1 is
readily apparent.
i. General prediction:
1. The various kinds of plants, the various
kinds of water animals, the various kinds of
birds, and the various kinds of land
organisms will all only bring forth after their
kind.
2. They will only reproduce the same kinds
that they are.
3. One kind will never produce something
other than its own kind.
b. These predictions are readily comparable with observation and
experimentation.
The creationist claim that there was a global flood makes empirically
testable predictions.
a. The flood account in Genesis 7:10-8:14 implies and predicts
that predominantly geological features form from catastrophe.
b. This theory that geologic features form by catastrophe is both
predictive and it can be compared and tested against
observable evidence.
Creationist claims that from the Bible state that the heavens (where the
stars reside) were stretched out.
Psalms 104:2 Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a
curtain.
Isaiah 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers;
that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.
Jeremiah 10:12 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and
hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.
Zechariah 12:1 The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth
the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.
a.
b.
The writing of these passages date back to before the time of
Jesus Christ, which makes them well-over 2,000 years old.
Yet, the expansion of the universe was not discovered until
after the turn of the 19th century A.D.
“Cosmology, II EVOLUTION OF COSMOLOGICAL THEORIES, D Discovering the Structure of
the Universe – In 1929 Hubble had measured enough spectra of galaxies to realize that the galaxies'
light, except for that of the few nearest galaxies, was shifted toward the red end of the visible
spectrum. This shift increased the more distant the galaxies were. Cosmologists soon interpreted these
red shifts as Doppler shifts, which showed that the galaxies were moving away from the earth. The
Doppler shift, and therefore the speed of the galaxy, was greater for more distant galaxies. Galaxies in
13
different directions at equivalent distances from the earth, however, had equivalent Doppler shifts. This
constant relationship between distance and speed led cosmologists to believe that the universe is
expanding uniformly.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft
Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Red Shift – The American astronomer Edwin Powell Hubble, in 1929, linked the red shift observed
in spectra of galaxies to the expansion of the universe.” – "Red Shift," Microsoft® Encarta®
Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
iv. Conclusions about Creationism, Evolution, and Empirically Testable Predictions
1. A great majority of the aspects of creationist theory can be compared to
observation of those phenomena in nature or through experimentation,
2. The creationist model is on equal footing with the evolutionary model
regarding claims about initial causes and the origin of the universe.
a. The creationist claim that God created the universe and all that
it in it (including all the organisms) remains beyond direct
observation and cannot be tested or repeated through
experiment.
b. The evolutionary model is unable to directly observe or
experimentally repeat the initial mechanisms and events that
began the universe in its model either.
i. The big bang itself is beyond such observation and
cannot even be modeled.
“Cosmology, III MODERN COSMOLOGY, A The Big Bang Theory – Current methods of particle
physics allow the universe to be traced back to earlier than one second after the big bang explosion
initiated the expansion of the universe. Cosmologists believe that they can model the universe back to
1 x [10 to the negative 43 power] seconds after the big bang; before that point, they would need a
theory that merges the theory of gravity and the theory of general relativity to explain the behavior
of the universe. Scientists do not actually study the big bang itself, but infer its existence from the
universe's expansion.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft
Corporation. All rights reserved.
3.
The creationist model and evolutionary model are on equal footing
regarding metaphysical assumptions.
a. Evolutionary biologist Dr. Moore stated that the creationist
and evolutionist models are on equal footing when it comes to
any metaphysical assumptions at the foundation of each
model.
i. According to Dr. Moore, uniformitarian geologic
principles must be assumed and supposed and cannot
be defended, deduced, or proved.
ii. In Dr. Moore’s words “We can’t really defend these
assumptions…We can’t prove it to be true. We can
simply make it a part of our philosophical system and
see how successful that system is in leading us to
new discoveries.”
b. The exact same can be said concerning the creationist model.
i. The idea of actually observing God creating the
universe is beyond what is available to us.
ii. However, we can build a model including this
suggested concept.
iii. And we can see how successful that model or system
is in fitting with what we do discover in the world
around us.
14
E. Conclusions regarding the 3 possible grounds for dismissing creationism as unscientific
i. The criticisms that creationism is unscientific because it is based upon
presupposition or blind faith, is un-falsifiable or un-testable, or does not and
cannot make predictions are all shown to be false.
1. Creationism, historically and originally is part of an objective and
evidentiary, not pre-suppositional or subjective, approach to truth.
2. The possibility of falsifying creationism’s claims can be seen in the fact
that evolutionists consider the biblical model to, in fact, have been
falsified on particular points.
a. This includes creationism’s claims about the age of the
universe and the reproductive origin of organisms.
3. Creationism’s claims are inherently predictive and available for testing
against the observable and experimental data.
a. This is most clearly seen in creationism’s prediction that
organisms will always reproduce their own kind, never a new
or different kind.
ii. In these categories, creationism is on equal footing with evolution as a scientific
theory or model.
iii. Creationism is also on equal footing with evolution concerning the fact that the
original events in both models are not available for scientific observation, this
includes:
1. God creating the universe
2. The big bang explosion itself.
iv. Both systems contain assertions, which cannot be proven, but the models and
systems that they are built into can be tested and compared to discoveries and
observations.
1. For example: evolution’s assumption of uniformitarianism cannot be
proven.
V. Proof by Presupposition and Characterization in the Origins Debate:Is God an Obsolete,
Primitive Concept?
A. Another attempt to dismiss creationism is on the grounds that the idea of a Creator is a
left-over or obsolete explanation developed by more primitive human cultures to explain
natural phenomena, which they did not understand.
i. This view states that as mankind and culture evolved, scientific processes were
developed, which now allow humanity to actually understand the causes of
natural phenomena in terms of fields like physics and chemistry.
ii. This characterization of religious development is an application of the
evolutionary model to the cultural and religious history of man.
“Religions, Classification of, Principles of classification, Morphological – Considerable progress toward
more scientific classifications of religions was marked by the emergence of morphological schemes,
which assume that religion in its history has passed through a series of discernible stages of
development, each having readily identifiable characteristics and each constituting an advance beyond
the former stage. So essential is the notion of progressive development to morphological schemes that
they might also be called evolutionary classifications…The pioneer of morphological classifications
was E.B. Tylor, a British anthropologist, whose Primitive Culture (1871) is among the most influential
books ever written in its field…Of immediate interest is the classification of religions drawn from Tylor's
animistic thesis. Ancestor worship, prevalent in preliterate societies, is obeisance to the spirits of the dead.
Fetishism, the veneration of objects believed to have magical or supernatural potency, springs from the
association of spirits with particular places or things and leads to idolatry, in which the image is viewed as
the symbol of a spiritual being or deity. Totemism, the belief in an association between particular groups of
people and certain spirits that serve as guardians of those people, arises when the entire world is conceived
as peopled by spiritual beings. At a still higher stage, polytheism, the interest in particular deities or spirits
disappears and is replaced by concern for a “species” deity who represents an entire class of similar
spiritual realities. By a variety of means, polytheism may evolve into monotheism, a belief in a
supreme and unique deity. Tylor's theory of the nature of religions and the resultant classification were
15
so logical, convincing, and comprehensive that for a number of years they remained virtually
unchallenged.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
iii. The development of the theory of religious evolution
1. Worldbook Encyclopedia begins with evolutionary assumptions.
a. The article then goes on almost immediately to cite the
evolutionary models proposed by anthropologists such as
Tylor.
“Religion, The origin of religion – The earliest recorded evidence of religious activity dates from only
about 60,000 B.C. However, anthropologists and historians of religion believe that some form of
religion has been practiced since people first appeared on the earth about 2 million years ago.
Experts think prehistoric religions arose out of fear and wonder about natural events, such as the
occurrence of storms and earthquakes and the birth of babies and animals. To explain why someone died,
people credited supernatural powers greater than themselves or greater than the world around
them…Leading theories were developed by Edward Burnett Tylor, Friedrich Max Muller, and Rudolf
Otto.” – World Book 2005
2.
Microsoft Encarta expresses this idea that religion originates as part of
the evolution of human understanding and culture.
a. Encarta’s article on mythology refers to Tylor’s work
Primitive Culture.
b. Encarta states that the evolutionary model applied to religion
by Tylor was borrowed from Charles Darwin himself.
c. The article goes on to describe further articulations of this
theory by Sir James George Frazer
i. Frazer stated that these evolutionary processes, which
initially produced religion to explain “natural
phenomena” eventually took the next evolutionary
step forward into what we call “science.”
“Mythology – Later in the 19th century the theory of evolution put forward by English naturalist
Charles Darwin heavily influenced the study of mythology. Scholars excavated the history of
mythology, much as they would excavate fossil-bearing geological formations, for relics from the distant
past. This approach can be seen in the work of British anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor. In
Primitive Culture (1871), Tylor organized the religious and philosophical development of humanity
into separate and distinct evolutionary stages. Similarly, British anthropologist Sir James George Frazer
proposed a three-stage evolutionary scheme in The Golden Bough (3rd edition, 1912-1915). According to
Frazer's scheme, human beings first attributed natural phenomena to arbitrary supernatural forces
(magic), later explaining them as the will of the gods (religion), and finally subjecting them to
rational investigation (science).” – "Mythology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998
Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
3.
According to the view in which religion is part of an evolution from the
more primitive to the scientifically enlightened, creationism (and the
idea of god, in general) is often viewed as a throw-back or vestigial
idea to which some people still cling.
iv. Conceptions of religion as the product of evolutionary forces are not consistent
with the anthropological evidence.
1. After discussing evolutionary models like those of Tylor, Britannica
Encyclopedia goes on to discuss the dominant, current approach to
religious study.
a. The current, dominant approach is known as the
phenomenological approach.
16
“Religions, Classification of, Principles of classification, Phenomenological – All the principles thus
far discussed have had reference to the classification of religions in the sense of establishing groupings
among historical religious communities having certain elements in common. While attempts have been
made to classify entire religions or religious communities, in recent times the interest in classifying entire
religions has markedly declined, partly because of an emerging interest in the phenomenology of
religion. This new trend in studies, which has come to dominate the field, claims its origin in the
phenomenological philosophy of Edmund Husserl, a German Jewish–Lutheran scholar, and has found its
greatest exponents in The Netherlands… Phenomenologists are especially vigorous in repudiating the
evolutionary schemes of past scholars, whom they accuse of imposing arbitrary semiphilosophical
concepts in their interpretation of the history of religion.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe
Edition
2.
Britannica observes that the phenomenological approach is “vigorous
in repudiating the evolutionary schemes of past scholars.”
a. This negative assessment of the evolutionary models is
articulated near the end of Britannica’s own section on such
morphological studies of religion.
“Religions, Classification of, Principles of classification, Morphological – Trends in the comparative
study of religions have retained the interest in morphology but have decisively rejected the almost universal
19th-century assumption of unitary evolution in the history of religion. The crude expression of
evolutionary categories such as the division of religions into lower and higher or primitive and higher
religions has been subjected to especially severe criticism.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe
Edition
3.
Other theories of religion cite anthropological evidence suggesting a
non-evolutionary model.
“Religion, study of, Anthropological approaches to the study of religion, Theories concerning the
origins of religion – These and other evolutionary schemes came in for criticism, however, in the light
of certain facts about the religions of primitive peoples. Thus, the Scottish folklorist Andrew Lang
(1844–1912) discovered from anthropological reports that various primitive tribes believed in a high
god—a creator and often legislator of the moral order. Marett and other anthropologists contended
that Lang's attempt to argue for an Urmonotheismus (primordial monotheism) was contrary both to
evolutionary ideas and to the established view of the lack of sophistication and half-animal status of
the so-called savage. Since Lang was more of a brilliant journalist than an anthropologist, his view was not
taken with as much seriousness as it should have been. The German Roman Catholic priest and
ethnologist Wilhelm Schmidt (1868–1954), however, brought anthropological expertise to bear in a
series of investigations of such primitive societies as those of the Tierra del Fuegians (South America),
the Negrillos of Rwanda (Africa), and the Andaman Islanders (Indian Ocean). The results were assembled
in his Der Ursprung der Gottesidee (“The Origin of the Idea of God”), which appeared in 12 volumes
from 1912 to 1955. Not surprisingly, Schmidt and his collaborators saw in the high gods, for whose
cultural existence they produced ample evidence from a wide variety of unconnected societies, a sign
of a primordial monotheistic revelation that later became overlaid with other elements (this was an
echo of earlier Christian theories invoking the Fall to similar effect). The interpretation is
controversial, but at least Lang and Schmidt produced grounds for rejecting the earlier rather naïve
theory of evolutionism.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
a.
b.
c.
According to Britannica, there is “ample evidence” for
concluding that monotheism was present in the earliest
societies “from a variety of unconnected societies.”
In light of this anthropological evidence, Britannica clearly
qualifies the evolutionary classification of religions as
“naïve.”
Note that the non-evolutionary model offered by Andrew
Lang was rejected on the grounds that it was “contrary both to
17
4.
evolutionary ideas and to the established view of the lack of
sophistication and half-animal status of the so-called savage.”
i. In other words, Lang’s non-evolution model was
rejected on the grounds that sub-points of the larger
evolutionary interpretation were true.
ii. This is an example of proof by presupposition.
1. An attempt to disprove an opposing
interpretation of the evidence merely by
appealing to sub-points of one’s own
interpretation.
Britannica summarizes the current status of the debate in the following
way.
“Religion, Philosophy of, Religion as a fact in human experience, culture, and history, The findings of
the history of religions – Conclusions in the history of religions have been largely determined by the
particular ideas of man or history with which the study was approached. Some scholars have
supposed that at the dawn of human existence there was a belief in a single god and that only later
there occurred a development into a belief in many gods as well as animism (a belief in souls or spirits
in man and other aspects of nature). Other scholars have supposed an evolutionary development of
religion, which only reached monotheism—considered to be the highest form of religious belief—after
a long period of purification. The two approaches sponsor, respectively, two contrasting myths about
primitive man. According to the one, there was once a golden age of innocence and harmony;
according to the other, the life of the earliest man was nasty, brutish, and short.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
a.
Evolutionary models of religion are themselves unsettled and
contested
b. Despite anthropological data that undermine the theory of an
evolution of religion, the characterization of creationism as the
outdated trait of more primitive man still somehow suffices as
grounds to dismiss creationism from consideration.
B. So, should creationism be rejected on the grounds that it is an obsolete artifact from a
more primitive stage of human evolution?
i. Things to remember
1. Creationism, the idea of a transcendent Designer, is a competing
interpretation of the empirical data.
2. Evolution is another interpretation of that empirical data.
ii. The criticism that creationism should be discarded because it is an earlier step in
the long evolution of human culture requires the following assumptions.
1. It assumes that humanity was more primitive earlier in history.
2. It assumes an evolutionary model for not only human intellect but also
human culture.
3. And it assumes a certain degree of long periods of time for this
evolution to occur.
iii. All of these concepts are components, sub-points, or conclusions of an
evolutionary interpretation of the empirical data.
iv. You cannot disprove an opponent’s interpretation by citing parts of your own
interpretation as though they were already proven.
VI. The Origin of Theories in the Origins Debate: Should Creationism Be Considered a Scientific
Theory?
A. Creationism is an ancient, but scientific theory
i. Like all scientific theories, creationism starts with an evidentiary approach
rather than with a blind faith based upon presupposition from an inward,
subjective realization.
ii. Even the evolution view the belief in a God originated as early man’s
explanation for things he observed and experienced in the world around him.
18
1.
Since it originates as an explanation for observed phenomena,
creationism must be regarded as a theory, even for those who regard it
as a primitive one.
iii. Creationism is a scientific theory that was put forward historically by more
ancient men and more ancient cultures.
1. It is a theory that was included in many of the ancient writings
produced by those cultures, including the Judeo-Christian scriptures.
2. Ancient cultures believed the existence of a creator God was a fact
because they understood it to be well-attested to by the observable
world around them.
3. Ancient man believing God’s existence was a fact is very much like the
present case where evolutionary theory is widely regarded as a fact.
iv. Believing a theory to be fact on the grounds that it is the best theory, or perhaps
historically the only available theory, simply does not mean that theory is based
upon a presumption or blind faith or, consequently, that it is unscientific.
B. Conclusions, Remaining Questions and Looking Ahead
i. As long as the idea of an intelligent Creator remains a conclusion that is derived
from the evidence, it is just as scientific as evolution.
1. Whether or not creationism fits the evidence as well as evolution is
another question.
2. This question can only be answered by looking at the evidence.
ii. So, which theory best fits the evidence, evolution or intelligent creation?
iii. To answer that question, two items remain:
1. First, to define each theory
2. Second, to examine the evidence to see to what extent it favors or
contradicts either theory.
VII. The Two Theories
A. The Crux of the Debate
i. Defining Theories and Evaluating Evidence
1. The purpose of this section will be to identify precisely what each
theory entails in its current, most prominent form.
ii. Finding the Crux of the Issue – The Mechanisms of Theories
1. About theories
a. Theories are explanations of observed evidence.
b. Theories are defined by the mechanisms they describe.
c. Mechanisms are the items that bring the evidence about.
2. The debate over origins is essential a debate over mechanisms.
iii. Teleology (Foresight) the Crux of the Creation-Evolution Debate
1. The entire argument can be reduced to a debate over the necessity of a
mechanism known as “teleology” or “foresight.”
a. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines teleology as
the concept that the characteristics of natural phenomena
indicate they are shaped by purpose.
“Teleology – Etymology: New Latin teleologia, from Greek tele-, telos end, purpose + -logia –logy. 1a:
the study of evidences of design in nature b: a doctrine (as in vitalism) that ends are immanent in
nature c: a doctrine explaining phenomena by final causes 2: the fact or character attributed to nature
or natural processes of being directed toward an end or shaped by a purpose 3: the use of design or
purpose as an explanation of natural phenomena.” – Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
2.
American Scientist article identifies teleology or foresight as the critical
issue of the debate
“An important rule in this exercise is to reconstruct the earliest events in life's history without
assuming they proceeded with the benefit of foresight. Every step must be accounted for in terms of
antecedent and concomitant events. Each must stand on its own and cannot be viewed as a preparation
19
for things to come. Any hint of teleology must be avoided.” – The Beginnings of Life on Earth, Christian
de Duve, American Scientist, September-October 1995
a.
de Duve states that although evolutionary scenarios involving
an RNA-only stage toward the origin of life from non-living
matter are “a matter of dogma,” but in reality, the prospect of
life arising from non-living matter without foresight has so far
utterly failed.
"The Beginnings of Life on Earth, The RNA World – Today it is almost a matter of dogma that the
evolution of life did include a phase where RNA was the predominant biological macromolecule.
Origin and Evolution of the RNA World – On the other hand, it is also surprising since these must have
been sturdy reactions to sustain the RNA world for a long time. Contrary to what is sometimes
intimated, the idea of a few RNA molecules coming together by some chance combination of
circumstances and henceforth being reproduced and amplified by replication simply is not tenable.
There could be no replication without a robust chemical underpinning continuing to provide the
necessary materials and energy. The development of RNA replication must have been the second stage in
the evolution of the RNA world. The problem is not as simple as might appear at first glance. Attempts
at engineering--with considerably more foresight and technical support than the prebiotic world
could have enjoyed--an RNA molecule capable of catalyzing RNA replication have failed so far." –
The Beginnings of Life on Earth, Christian de Duve, American Scientist, September-October 1995
b.
de Duve correctly identifies the critical criterion for
determining whether or not foresight and purpose are required
in order for a particular scenario to occur.
i. When referring to the “foresight” involved in
evolutionary experiments to simulate the origin of
life, de Duve specifies that “chance combinations of
circumstances” can either be classified as tenable or
untenable for any particular theoretical scenario.
ii. And once again, when describing the interdependent
relationship of DNA and proteins, for example, de
Duve comments again on the critical nexus of
probability, coinciding origination of functionally
interdependent elements, and foresight.
“Scientists considering the origins of biological molecules confronted a profound difficulty. In the modern
cell, each of these molecules is dependent on the other two for either its manufacture or its function.
DNA, for example, is merely a blueprint, and cannot perform a single catalytic function, nor can it replicate
on its own. Proteins, on the other hand, perform most of the catalytic functions, but cannot be
manufactured without the specifications encoded in DNA. One possible scenario for life's origins would
have to include the possibility that two kinds of molecules evolved together, one informational and
one catalytic. But this scenario is extremely complicated and highly unlikely.” – The Beginnings of
Life on Earth, Christian de Duve, American Scientist, September-October 1995
c.
De Duve comments on the critical dynamic between
probability, coinciding origination of functionally
interdependent elements, and foresight when describing the
evolutionary theory concerning the origin of the DNA base
pairs.
“It seems very unlikely that protometabolism produced just the four bases found in RNA, A, U, G and C,
ready by some remarkable coincidence to engage in pairing and allow replication. Chemistry does
not have this kind of foresight.” – The Beginnings of Life on Earth, Christian de Duve, American
Scientist, September-October 1995
20
iv. Statistical probability is the critical factor for determining whether or not a
scenario could arise with or without teleological foresight.
1. If the statistical probability that the essential elements of a particular
scenario will coincide is too low to realistically be expected to occur,
then the coinciding of those elements is deemed to require foresight, or
in other words, conscious, deliberate arrangement.
2. On the other hand, if the essential elements of a particular scenario are
statistically calculated to have realistic probability of coinciding
occurrence, then deliberate arrangement (teleology) is not required.
v. Probability is a frequently discussed, critical factor, in all essential aspects of
Evolution Theory
1. Probability issues arise regarding the precise balance or intricate
interdependence of numerous factors necessary in order for particular
theoretical scenarios to occur.
2. Probability issues arise regarding evolutionary explanations of the
formation of the large-scale structure of the universe
a. Pro-evolution commentaries analyze whether or not various
theoretical explanations work at all
b. Pro-evolution commentaries analyze whether or not
theoretical explanations that do work are “too ideally
balanced” to fit with the strict, non-teleological assumptions of
evolutionary theory.
3. Probability issues arise regarding the origin of life
a. Pro-evolution commentators assess whether or not particular
scenarios defy probability requirements for a non-teleological
origin of a living cell, just as in the American Scientist article
cited above.
4. Probability issues arise regarding the origin of species
a. Pro-evolution commentaries assess the probability behind the
evolutionary mechanism of beneficial mutations.
5. In our closing table of evidences, we will see the issue of probability
vs. teleology in the Anthropic Principle, which addresses the combined
probability of all the factors necessary for life to exist in the universe.
vi. At every step in the process, concerning each aspect of the evidence, the
question of foresight emerges.
1. Foresight is the essential difference in the theories.
2. Foresight is the essential difference in their explanatory mechanisms.
a. Evolution theory assesses that all of the world around us, all of
the observable evidence, conforms to what can be explained in
terms of processes that occur without foresight, without
preparation and anticipation of later steps, without
interdependent factors whose required coincidence defy
probability.
b. Creation theory assesses that all of the world around us, all of
the observable evidence, involves preparation and anticipation
of function, interdependent factors whose required
coincidence defies probability, and consequently requires
foresight and purpose.
3. The presence or absence of foresight as a mechanism for the
characteristics of the observable evidence is the defining component of
each theory concerning every aspect of the observable universe.
vii. Creationism is a theory that is based upon and that points to positive evidence.
1. By positive evidence we mean that creationism is not merely a “God of
the gaps theory.”
a. The phrase “God of the gaps” refers to the criticism that there
is no evidence that inherently points to God’s existence but
21
instead, God is asserted only when there is minor gap,
shortcoming, or lack of explanation in current evolutionary
theory. According to this criticism:
i. “God” is inserted to fill in the “gaps” where evidence
or explanations are missing
ii. The absence of evidence or explanations acts as sort
of a negative evidence, a “minus sign” in the
evolution column
iii. This “minus sign” indicates that God is necessary as
a “plug” to fill in what’s missing.
2. Creationism is not merely the result of asserting “God” as the solution
to holes in evolutionary theory.
3. Creationism actually points to positive evidence.
a. Positive evidence means that, far from God being necessitated
simply because something is “missing,” God is necessitated
expressly because of what is present.
b. Creationism is not based upon asserting God’s involvement
whenever we don’t know what the evidence indicates or how
the evidence works.
c. Creationism is based upon looking at actual particular traits of
the evidence and observing that those particular traits actually
indicate foresight, design, and teleology.
d. There is positive evidence that points to foresight and
teleology, not just “missing pieces” in the evolutionary theory.
4. Examples of Positive Evidence for Creationsm – Chicken and Egg
Problems
a. Various chicken-and-egg scenarios arise from the observable
evidence about the origin of the universe and of life that
cannot be solved without insurmountable improbabilities.
b. Creationism asserts that extremely improbable coincidences
that bring about necessary functions are positive proof of
purposeful orchestration, or teleology.
c. Evolutionists may argue about whether foresight or automatic,
routine processes are required to solve these and other
obstacles.
d. However, it is inaccurate for evolutionists to argue that
creationism doesn’t point to positive evidence or that the only
evidence that creationism has are the shortcomings of
evolutionary theory.
B. Defining the Two Theories
i. In the origins debate, there are essentially 5 major categories of evidence that
prompt explanation.
1. 1) The origin of the universe in terms of space, time, matter, and energy
2. 2) The variety and distribution of the astronomical objects in the
universe
3. 3) The origin of the geological features of the earth
4. 4) The origin of life
5. 5) The variety and distribution of organisms on earth
VIII. Creation Theory
A. Describing the creation theory (and its explanatory mechanisms) with regard to the 5
categories of evidence (listed above).
1) The origin of the universe in terms of space, time, matter, and energy are not explainable by means of
blind, automatic processes. Instead, a supernatural entity that exists outside the space-time, matter-energy
universe is required to cause the beginning of the space-time, matter-energy universe. And that supernatural
entity that exists outside of time must be an intelligence not just an automatic, routine force in order to
22
explain the finite emergence of the universe at a particular point in time. The combination of the historical
record, astronomical features, the rates of natural processes, geologic features, and the biological features
of the universe (described below) all lead to the conclusion that the universe began about 6,000-10,000
years ago.
2) Likewise, the formation and distribution of the large-scale structures of the universe such as
superclusters, clusters, and galaxies, as well as the formation of stars, planets, and smaller astronomical
objects require balance that is too ideal and exhibit traits and behaviors contrary to blind, automatic, routine
processes and instead requires foresight.
3) Specific geological features as well as widely distributed geological features negate the possibility of
formation by slow, normal processes over multiple thousands or millions of years. Instead, certain geologic
features require both rapid and recent formation under ten thousand years. Furthermore, independent
historical records all over the earth recount the occurrence of a massive, worldwide flood. Consequently,
both the specific traits of the geologic evidence and the historical record indicate that the origin of the
geologic features of the earth occurred rapidly in a matter of months as a result of a catastrophic, worldwide
flood, with lingering climatological effects taking perhaps a few hundred years to stabilize.
4) The origin of life inherently involves more than one of what are known as “chicken-and-egg dilemmas”
in which multiple required components all have to arrive at the same time in order to function and bring
about life. This irreducible interdependent functionality defies the probability limits for automatic, routine
processes and instead requires foresight.
5) The origin of species by automatic, routine processes would require beneficial mutations that occur at a
rate and in a functional, chronological order, both of which defy the probability limits for automatic,
routine processes and instead require foresight. The many varieties of structures and organs among the
varieties of organisms also exhibit irreducible, functional interdependencies requiring coinciding
originations that defy the probability limits for automatic, routine process and instead requires foresight.
Furthermore, both the geologic evidence and the universal testimony from direct observation and
experimentation reveal that each kind of organism always and only reproduces its own kind, never a new or
different kind of organism. Consequently, all of the varieties of organisms on earth today exist in unique,
static lineages called “kinds” and require foresight for their origination. Furthermore, given the absence of
automatic, routine mechanisms for the production of new, beneficial genetic material and the fact that all
the observable evidence including the fossil record depicts static reproductive lineages that do not change
into new organisms, the variety present among the kinds of organisms must have been built-in to their
original genetic make-up to allow for the resilience to environmental changes necessary for the survival of
each kind, which in turn again requires foresight.
B. Expanded Commentary: Creation Theory
i. The critical aspect of creation theory is the concept of “kinds” needs to be
expounded.
ii. The issues surrounding “kinds” are probably the most misunderstood and the
most important aspects of the entire origins debate.
iii. There are 6 issues surrounding the concept of “kinds” that need to be discussed
for clarity
1. 1) Taxonomy and Vocabulary
2. 2) The Actual Observations and Evidence
3. 3) The Gene Pool
4. 4) Defining the Boundaries of Kinds and Species
5. 5) Actual Differences between the 2 Theories
6. 6) Micro-Evolution and Macro-Evolution
C. Taxonomy and Vocabulary
i. Taxonomy is the science of classifying organisms into different groups.
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines “taxonomy” as follows.
23
“Taxonomy – 1: the study of the general principles of scientific classification: systematics 2:
classification; especially: orderly classification of plants and animals according to their presumed
natural relationships.” – Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
1.
2.
3.
The modern classification system is a hierarchical arrangement.
Larger categories are comprised of small subcategories in a series of
levels.
a. The largest category is the kingdom.
b. The smallest subcategory is the species.
There are 5 levels between those two extremes.
“Classification, Scientific, Groups in classification. Seven chief groups make up a system in scientific
classification. The groups are: (1) kingdom, (2) phylum or division, (3) class, (4) order, (5) family, (6)
genus, and (7) species. The kingdom is the largest group. The species is the smallest.” – Worldbook,
Contributor: Theodore J. Crovello, Ph.D., Professor of Biology and Dean, Graduate Studies and Research,
California State University, Los Angeles.
ii. 2 important facts that need to be understood about classification systems,
including the modern classification system.
1. First, the very nature of categorizing organisms is subjective and is
artificially derived for convenience.
a. This system is simply to establish a conceptual ladder in
which we can arrange organisms into an order that is easy to
reference.
b. The major kingdoms can be placed into super-kingdoms or
domains, such as Prokaryota and Eukaryota.
c. Even the smallest subcategory of species can be further
divided into subspecies or breeds.
d. These terms are applied along a sliding scale.
i. For example, there is simply no objective standard
that guarantees that what is deemed to be a “family”
level in the plant kingdom is equivalent to the
“family” level in the animal kingdom.
ii. The same is true for the other kingdoms and the other
subcategories as well.
e. The subjective nature of this process and the somewhat ad hoc
nature of the subcategories results in difficulties in settling
certain areas of classification.
i. Often there is more than one alternative classification
scheme for such difficult areas.
“Taxonomy, Current systems of classification, A classification of living organisms – The use of
“division” by botanists and “phylum” by zoologists for equivalent categories leads to a rather
awkward situation in the Protista, a group of interest to both botanists and zoologists. As used below, the
terms follow prevailing usage: phylum for the primarily animal-like protozoa and division for other
protistan groups that are more plantlike and of interest primarily to botanists. The discussion above shows
the difficulty involved in classification; for example, one traditional classification of the
Aschelminthes, presented below and in the article aschelminth, divides the phylum Aschelminthes
into five classes: Rotifera, Gastrotricha, Kinorhyncha, Nematoda, and Nematomorpha. An alternative
classification elevates these classes to phyla, and still another classification establishes different
relationships between the groups: phylum Gastrotricha, phylum Rotifera, phylum Nematoda (containing
classes Adenophorea, Secernentea, and Nematomorpha), and phylum Introverta (containing classes
Kinorhyncha, Loricifera, Priapulida, and Acanthocephala). The true relationships between these
pseudocoelomates remain to be established.”
24
f.
2.
That is not to say that the commonalities between any 2
organisms aren’t objectively real.
i. Certainly, 2 different land-dwelling animals
undeniably share the trait of being land-dwellers.
g. There is no one right way to name and enumerate levels of
classification.
Second, in addition to the convenient and subjective nature of
classification categories, the modern classification system is a
refinement of systems developed in the 18th century.
“Taxonomy – Modern taxonomic classification, based on the natural concepts and system of the
Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus, has progressed steadily since the 18th century, modified by advances
in knowledge of morphology, evolution, and genetics.” – "Taxonomy," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia
99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
a.
The modern five-kingdom classification system was
established during the 1950-60’s with the recognition of fungi
as a fifth kingdom.
“Classification, Scientific, Groups in classification – Until the 1960's, most biologists formally
recognized only two major kingdoms-Animalia, the animal kingdom, and Plantae, the plant kingdom. But
as more information about the microscopic structure and biochemistry of organisms became known,
scientists realized that a two-kingdom classification system was not exact enough. Today, most biologists
use a system that recognizes five kingdoms of organisms. These are Animalia, Plantae, Fungi,
Protista, and Prokaryotae.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Theodore J. Crovello, Ph.D., Professor of Biology
and Dean, Graduate Studies and Research, California State University, Los Angeles.
“Classification, II CLASSIFICATION SYSTEMS THROUGH HISTORY – In the 1950s, a fifth
kingdom, Kingdom Fungi, was established, based on fungi's unique method of obtaining food.” –
"Classification," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights
reserved.
b.
The Biblical language is not going to correspond to the
language of modern classification systems.
i. Modern classifications originate in the 18th century
and did not reach their current form until the 195060’s.
ii. The Bible was written millennia ago
iii. In order to efficiently compare the two theories, we need to understand how the
terms in each relate to the terms in the other – because they don’t use the same
terms.
1. The creation model employs the concept of “kinds” found in the text of
ancient scripture.
2. In Darwin’s book, “The Origin of Species,” evolutionary theory
focuses on the concept of “species.”
iv. We have to understand how these species and kinds relate and differ from one
another.
1. Species and kinds are not simply 2 different words for the same
concept.
2. Defining a kind
a. A “kind” is not a “species.”
b. If it is necessary to describe “kinds” in terms of our modern
classification systems, it was probably at least loosely closer
to the level that we call a “family.”
25
3.
4.
i. Creationist Dr. Kent Hovind, Debate with
evolutionary biologist and geneticist, Dr. William
Moore of Wayne State University,
c. Kind is a much broader group than a species.
d. Species would then be a far narrower subcategory within a
“kind.”
As Dr. Hovind commented, creationist theory employs the term
“variety” as equivalent but preferential to the term “species.”
a. A “kind” and the varieties in it might be thought of as roughly
similar to the relationship between a “family” and the species
in it.
b. Creationists recognize that organisms exist within groups
called a “kind” and within each kind we would still find
“varieties” or “variations.”
Descriptions of evolution theory use “varieties” and “species”
interchangeably.
a. When talking about the 10-30 million “species” on the planet
today, Britannica refers to this number as “virtually infinite
variations.”
“Evolution – More than 2,000,000 existing species of plants and animals have been named and
described; many more remain to be discovered—from 10,000,000 to 30,000,000 according to some
estimates…The virtually infinite variations on life are the fruit of the evolutionary process.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
b.
Britannica’s description of evolution also refers to the more
generic category of distinctions between organisms as “types”
and “pre-existing types.”
“Evolution – theory in biology postulating that the various types of animals and plants have their
origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in
successive generations.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
c.
The term “kinds” is also used in evolution to describe the
broader distinctions between general categories of organisms.
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Species and speciation, The concept of species – Darwin sought
to explain the splendid multiformity of the living world: thousands of organisms of the most diverse
kinds, from lowly worms to spectacular birds of paradise, from yeasts and molds to oaks and
orchids.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
d.
When the creationist model or the Biblical text, refers to
“kinds,” the evolutionist knows what basic concept is being
referred to by this term.
i. Britannica explains that distinguishing between kinds
is something that “everyone knows” from “everyday
experience”
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Species and speciation, The concept of species – Everyday
experience teaches that there are different kinds of organisms and how to identify them. Everyone
knows that people belong to the human species and are different from cats and dogs, which in turn are
different from each other.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
v. However, families and kinds don’t correspond exactly, absolutely, or in all
cases.
vi. On the differences between the two theories
26
1.
The difference between the 2 theories is not over terminology or the
exact location of the sliding scale for levels like families or kinds
2. The difference is over whether or not the varieties found in such larger
categories like families and kinds are capable of becoming an actual
new type of organism different from its original family or kind.
D. The Actual Observations and Evidence
i. What is observed in nature is this:
A group of organisms that have previously been considered to be part of a larger group become
reproductively separated from that larger group. Originally being part of the same larger group, the two
groups could fully interbreed. But one or more of a number of factors cause a portion of that original
larger group to stop mating with the other members of that group. These factors include living in different
geographic locations, living in different habitats in the same geographic location, differences in
reproductive preference or behavior, or simple physical, mechanical issues such as the size and shape of
reproductive organs. This process is very gradual and starts off very minor. However, as they continue to
reproduce separately, one or both of the groups begin to acquire distinctions from the other due to a rise in
prominence of what are typically external traits (such as beak length, height, or color). And in time, after
more and more generations of separated reproduction, the two groups might, although not necessarily,
become limited in their ability to reproduce with members of the original larger group.
ii. Both evolution and creationism theories accept speciation itself as presented in
the above basic description of the observed facts – where they disagree is about
whether or not this process has the potential to produce all organisms on the
planet.
1. Evolutionists refer to this process as speciation and it is an essential
element of evolution theory
a. Evolutionary theory was advanced and accepted largely
through Darwin’s book entitled, The Origin of Species.
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Species and speciation, The concept of species – Darwin sought
to explain the splendid multiformity of the living world: thousands of organisms of the most diverse
kinds, from lowly worms to spectacular birds of paradise, from yeasts and molds to oaks and orchids. His
Origin of Species is a sustained argument showing that the diversity of organisms and their
characteristics can be explained as the result of natural processes. Species come about as the result of
gradual change prompted by natural selection. Environments are continuously changing in time, and
they differ from place to place. Natural selection, therefore, favours different characteristics in different
situations. The accumulation of differences eventually yields different species.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
b.
The cornerstone of evolutionary theory is the origin of new,
genetically distinct, and non-interbreeding groups called
“species” from already existing “species.”
i. Britannica affirms this describing this process of
“speciation” as “one of the fundamental processes of
evolution.”
ii. Notice how much Britannica’s description of
speciation parallels the basic observations outlined
above.
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Species and speciation, The origin of species, A model of
speciation – Since species are groups of populations reproductively isolated from one another, asking
about the origin of species is equivalent to asking how reproductive isolation arises between
populations.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Species – biological classification comprising related organisms that share common characteristics
and are capable of interbreeding. The term speciation designates the process by which one species of
27
organism splits into two or more species. Speciation is one of the fundamental processes of
evolution…Organisms are grouped into species partly according to their morphological, or external,
similarities, but more important in classifying sexually reproducing organisms is the organisms'
ability to successfully interbreed. Individuals of a single species can mate and produce viable
offspring with one another but not with members of other species.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004
Deluxe Edition
2.
The evolutionary model asserts that this observed processes of
“speciation” in turn was able to produce all forms of organisms on
earth today from a single, common ancestor.
a. Once again the basic concept of “how evolution occurs” is
attributed to Charles Darwin whose evolutionary model
centered on “the origin of species”
i. “The origin of species” is the title of Darwin’s Book
describing his theory of evolution.
“Species – Because genetic variations originate in individuals of a species and because those individuals
pass on their variations only within the species, then it is at the species level that evolution takes place.
The evolution of one species into others is called speciation.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe
Edition
“Evolution – theory in biology postulating that the various types of animals and plants have their
origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in
successive generations…The diversity of the living world is staggering. More than 2,000,000 existing
species of plants and animals have been named and described; many more remain to be discovered—from
10,000,000 to 30,000,000 according to some estimates…The virtually infinite variations on life are the
fruit of the evolutionary process. All living creatures are related by descent from common
ancestors…Biological evolution is a process of descent with modification. Lineages of organisms
change through generations; diversity arises because the lineages that descend from common
ancestors diverge through time. The 19th-century English naturalist Charles Darwin argued that
organisms come about by evolution, and he provided a scientific explanation, essentially correct but
incomplete, of how evolution occurs…” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
b.
In the evolution model, the large-scale arrival of all forms or
organisms on earth today from a single ancestor is the gradual,
long-term result of this process occurring at the smaller,
species level.
iii. So, both creationists and evolutionists recognize that variation occurs within a
larger type of organisms through factors like geographic isolation.
1. The agreed-upon result is that smaller subsets of that larger group
emerge, which differ from the original larger group (or other subsets of
it) in terms of the specific collection of genetic traits that they possess
and manifest.
2. Both sides also recognize that in some cases this leads to reproductive
isolation from the original larger group or at least from other subsets of
that original larger group.
3. Evolutionists call this speciation whereas creations may refer to this as
variation or variety within a kind.
E. The Gene Pool
i. The process of “speciation,” as outlined above and as agreed upon by both
theories, can be described in terms of a “gene pool.”
ii. The scientific field of genetics was founded by an Austrian monk by the name of
Gregor Mendel in the middle of the 1800’s.
28
“Mendel, Gregor – original name (until 1843) Johann Mendel Austrian botanist and plant experimenter,
the first to lay the mathematical foundation of the science of genetics, in what came to be called
Mendelism.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Heredity, Basic features of heredity, Early conceptions of heredity – Many experiments on plant
hybrids were made in the 1800s. These investigations revealed that hybrids were usually intermediate
between the parents. They more or less incidentally recorded most of the facts that later led Gregor
Mendel (see below) to formulate his celebrated rules and to found the theory of the gene. Apparently,
none of Mendel's predecessors saw the significance of the data that were being accumulated.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
1.
As proposed by Mendel, populations have an existing “gene pool,”
which is the total number of genes possessed collectively by all of the
members of the population.
“Heredity, Heredity and evolution, The gene in populations. The gene pool – A Mendelian population
is said to have a gene pool. The gene pool is the sum total of the genes carried by the individual
members of the population. The gene pool also continues through time. The genes of the individuals
of the generation now living come from a sample of the genes of the previous generation; if these
individuals reproduce, their genes will pass into the gene pool of the following generations.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
2.
3.
The gene pool continues over time as the genes of one generation are
passed on from parents to offspring in successive generations.
Although giving a uniquely evolutionary articulation, the following
quote reflects the basic role that gene pools play in speciation.
“Species – Interbreeding only within the species is of great importance for evolution in that individuals
of one species share a common gene pool that members of other species do not. Within a single pool
there is always a certain amount of variation among individuals, and those whose genetic variations
leave them at a disadvantage in a particular environment tend to be eliminated in favour of those with
advantageous variations. This process of natural selection results in the gene pool's evolving in such a
way that the advantageous variations become the norm.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe
Edition
iii. Relevance of the Gene Pool to the process of speciation
1. Both theories agree that the distribution of existing genes changes or
shifts around in each successive generation depending on which parents
interbreed to produce offspring.
a. And, in some cases, over time certain genes that were present
in the original population may cease to be present in particular
subpopulations if members with those genes don’t reproduce
or survive to reproduce.
iv. Avoiding equivocation, providing clarity concerning Britannica’s statement “the
gene pool is evolving.”
1. The English word “evolve” is a synonym for “change,” this process of
shifting distribution of existing genes can be referred to as the gene
pool “evolving” or “changing”
2. But to infer that such shifts in an existing gene pool prove that all
modern organisms originated from a common ancestor is simply an
equivocation on the term “evolve.”
a. In one sense, the word “evolve” simply refers to the shifting of
the distribution and availability of existing genes from
generation to generation.
29
b.
In the other sense, “evolution” is perceived to be a technical
term denoting the theory that all forms of life came from a
single, common ancestor.
Fallacies of Ambiguity:
Equivocation – the same term is used with two different meanings.
3.
Setting aside any equivocation, we can see that both sides agree that…
a. What is observed is that the distribution of existing genes in a
gene pool shift around in each generation according to the
advantages certain genes and traits have for a particular
environment.
b. The basic effect this shifting of genes can potentially have on
the different organisms sharing that gene pool if particular
subgroups of the population begin to breed in isolation from
the larger gene pool.
i. The peppered moths of England are often cited as an
example of these factors.
ii. Changes in their surrounding environment are stated
to have resulted in an advantage for dark coloration
over light coloration, resulting in a rise in the
occurrence of dark coloration in the population as
more and more light colored moths failed to live to
reproduce.
“Evolution, VI SPECIATION – When the British countryside near cities became blackened by
smoke from industrial processes, the lighter moths, previously well disguised against light-colored
tree trunks, were easily found by birds and thus became less fit. The dark moths became common
because they were more difficult to discern against the darker background. A single gene, coding for the
dark color rather than the light color, was spread by means of natural selection and raised to a high
frequency in industrial regions. Subsequent reduction of smoke pollution resulted in a reduction of
the dark moth variety. The light and dark moth varieties belong to the same species and interbreed
freely. If pollution had continued, however, the rural moth population would have become entirely light
and the industrial entirely dark. Then each population would be subject to somewhat different selective
pressures because the two environments vary. In time, the dark and light populations would differ by
groups of genes, with each group advantageous locally. The moth populations might eventually become
incapable of interbreeding.” – "Evolution," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998
Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
iii. The removal of genetic variety from 1 or both of the
populations of peppered moths living in different
environments could have ultimately led to the 2
groups becoming incapable of interbreeding.
v. The function of a gene pool and its relationship to the production of “varieties
and kinds” or “species” can be rendered in terms of the following 2 illustrations.
1. (See Gene Pool Figures 1 and 2.)
2. These 2 illustrations are
a. Identical renderings of the description of the actual
observations agreed upon by both evolutionists and
creationists and outlined in the previous segment.
b. Different only in that in 1 figure the evolutionary terms are
used and on the other the roughly equivalent creationist terms
are used.
3. The illustrations depict that both sides agree that:
30
a.
Over time, reproductively isolated populations move toward
the shallow end of the gene pool, where genetic variety is
lessened from the larger, original pool.
b. The organisms go from more heterozygous genetic make-up in
the original, larger gene pool to a more homozygous genetic
make-up the farther they are toward the shallower end of the
pool.
c. If a subgroup becomes sufficiently inbred moving toward the
far, shallow end of the original gene pool, eventually the
organisms can become actually genetically incapable of
interbreeding with some or all other members of the original,
larger gene pool
i. Just as stated in the previous illustration involving the
peppered moths.
4. In the creationist model
a. The original gene pool is known as the “kind” and it might be
thought of as loosely equivalent to the level of a “family” in
the modern classifications system.
b. The process of moving toward a more and more homozygous
area of the gene pool is described in terms of “varieties being
produced from the kind,” which is the original gene pool.
5. In the evolution model
a. The process of moving toward a more and more homozygous
area of the gene pool is described in terms of what was once a
“family” that shared the same gene pool splitting up into
different “species.”
6. Understanding equivolent terms of the two theories
a. The term “kinds” and “family” are roughly equivalent to the
original gene pool
b. The terms “variety” and “species” or “variation” and
“speciation” are roughly equivalent, denoting the narrowing of
the gene pool among certain populations through reproductive
isolation.
vi. Heterozygous and homozygous genes
1. Heterozygous and homozygous refer to the genetic make-up of an
individual organism.
2. Organisms usually have 2 corresponding genes for each specific trait.
a. If both genes code for the exact same version of the trait (such
as short and short or tall and tall) then the individual is
homozygous concerning that trait.
b. If both genes code for different versions of the same trait (such
as one short and one tall) then the individual is heterozygous
concerning that trait.
3. Consequently, the physical appearance of an organism is determined by
its heterozygous or homozygous genetic composition
a. (Note: dominant genes often cause heterozygous individuals
(one dominant and one recessive gene) to look the same as
individuals that are homozygous in which both genes are of
the dominant version.)
“Homozygote – an organism with identical pairs of genes (or alleles) for a specific trait. If both of the
two gametes (sex cells) that fuse during fertilization carry the same form of the gene for a specific trait,
the organism is said to be homozygous for that trait. In a heterozygous organism, or heterozygote,
the genes for a specific trait are different. Because genes may be either dominant or recessive, the
genetic composition (genotype) of an organism cannot always be determined by the physical appearance
(phenotype).” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
31
4.
Population genetics asserts that the genetic composition of an entire
population can be described in terms of gene frequency of the gene
pool itself.
“Heredity, Heredity and evolution, The gene in populations, The Hardy–Weinberg principle – The
genetic composition of a population can meaningfully be described in terms of the frequencies of
various alleles of the genes in the gene pool.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
a.
A portion of the original population becomes reproductively
isolated and lost genetic variety can be considered more
homozygous than the original gene pool of the original
population.
vii. Gene Frequency in the creationist model
1. The original population of a kind would have been heterozygous at
least either in terms of:
a. The overall representation of all the genes among all of the
original members
b. Or more probably in terms of the original members of the kind
each being heterozygous.
2. There is a uniform population in which:
a. The fullness of the original gene pool is maintained
b. Most of the members of the species are going to look very
similar, without producing widely distinct varieties as we see
today as a result of more homozygous populations
i. (Such as the cheetah among its particular kind or
family of cat.)
viii. Gene frequency will tend to stay the same from generation to generation unless
affected by external conditions.
1. This is stated both in the Hardy-Weinberg principle and as a general
rule of Mendelian genetics.
“Heredity, Heredity and evolution, The gene in populations, The Hardy–Weinberg principle – In
1908, Godfrey Harold Hardy and Wilhelm Weinberg independently formulated a theorem that became the
foundation of population genetics. According to the Hardy–Weinberg principle, two or more gene
alleles will have the same frequency in the gene pool generation after generation, until some agent
acts to change that frequency.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Heredity and evolution, Selection as an agent of change, Natural selection and Darwinian fitness –
Sexual reproduction under simple (Mendelian) inheritance is a conservative force that tends to
maintain the genetic status quo in a population. If a gene frequency is 1 percent in a population, it
tends to remain at 1 percent indefinitely unless some force acts to change it. Outside of the laboratory,
the most powerful force for changing gene frequencies is natural selection.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
ix. There are only 2 possible mechanisms for changing the frequency or content of
genetic variety in a gene pool:
1. Mutation
2. Environmental change
a. Environmental change can occur as portions of the population
migrate geographically or even just locally into new habitats
in the same area.
3. But, mutations would not change the genetic composition of a gene
pool unless there was an accompanying change of environment as well.
a. This includes the hypothetical beneficial mutations that
evolution theory asserts
32
“Evolution, VI SPECIATION – Because all the established genes in a population have been
monitored for fitness by selection, newly arisen mutations are unlikely to enhance fitness unless the
environment changes so as to favor the new gene activity, as in the gene for dark color in the peppered
moth. Novel genes that cause large changes rarely promote fitness and are usually lethal.” – "Evolution,"
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
x. The importance of environmental change for shifting genetic frequency
1. Variations in environment are the only force that can alter the genetic
content and the gene frequency of populations, even as the following
quote plainly states.
“Species – Interbreeding only within the species is of great importance for evolution in that individuals
of one species share a common gene pool that members of other species do not. Within a single pool
there is always a certain amount of variation among individuals, and those whose genetic variations
leave them at a disadvantage in a particular environment tend to be eliminated in favour of those with
advantageous variations. This process of natural selection results in the gene pool's evolving in such a
way that the advantageous variations become the norm.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe
Edition
2.
3.
As portions of a population move into new environments or as the
environments themselves change, the gene frequencies will shift and
some variety will be removed by natural selection.
a. Important Note: This is a process of removing genetic
variety, not adding variety.
b. The loss of variety will produce a more homozygous
subpopulation, which will now start to look more externally
distinct among the overall original population.
It is a significant fact that the contents of the gene pool are going to
stay uniform in all subpopulations no matter how much they separate
geographically until or unless they encounter actual, different
environmental conditions.
a. The creationist model of the earth’s environment before the
Flood contains little or no variations in habitat or climate
anywhere on the earth’s surface.
i. This is based upon Genesis 8:21-22 which is the first
mention of alternation between seedtime and harvest,
summer and winter, hot and cold.
Genesis 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse
the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will
I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. 22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and
harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
b.
c.
Being the first mention of winter and cold and their alternation
with summer and heat is understood within the creationist
model to designate the onset of seasonal variations in
temperature over the surface of the earth.
To avoid an unnecessary tangent, this model can be
summarized as follows.
i. The earth receives its surface temperature as a result
of the sun heating its atmosphere.
“Earth, The atmosphere and hydrosphere, The atmosphere – It is not surprising that the Earth, as a
small planet (with a rather weak gravitational field) at fairly warm temperatures (due to its proximity to
the Sun)…” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
33
ii. The earth’s seasonal shifts from warm to cold or
summer and winter are a result of the tilt of earth’s
rotational axis.
“Earth, Basic planetary data – The tilt (inclination) of the Earth's axis to its orbit (23.5°), also typical,
is responsible for the change of seasons.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Season – any of four divisions of the year according to consistent annual changes in the weather.
The seasons—winter, spring, summer, and autumn…Outside the tropics and the polar regions, the
essential characteristic of the annual cycle is a temperature oscillation between a single maximumand a
single minimum. This oscillation results from the annual variation in the angle at which the Sun's rays
reach the Earth's surface and from the annual variation in the duration of sunlight on the Earth's surface
each day. As the Earth moves in its orbit around the Sun, its axis maintains an early constant
orientation in space, inclined about 66°33′ to the orbital plane. During the six-month half of each
orbit when the North Pole is inclined toward the Sun, a point in the Northern Hemisphere receives
the Sun's rays at an angle closer to 90° than does a point in the Southern Hemisphere; this causes
greater heating and more hours of daylight in the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern
Hemisphere. During the other six months, these conditions are reversed.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica
2004 Deluxe Edition
iii. Based upon Genesis 8, the creationist model asserts
that the earth’s axis would not have been tilted prior
to the Flood.
iv. Instead, the tilt and the Flood resulted from a
potential asteroid impact that triggered several items
v. Prior to this catastrophic event:
1. The axis is hypothesized to have had no tilt,
2. The sun would have heated the entire
surface of the earth uniformly,
3. And consequently there was no seasonal
variation in temperature.
vi. The uniform climate in turn would have drastically
reduced the variety of environments themselves.
4. The catastrophic global flood contributed significantly to the largescale environmental differences that we see present in the world today
and impacting speciation or variation as described above.
a. Thus, the pre-flood world, prior to the catastrophic
environmental changes brought about by the flood…
i. Would not have had the environmental diversity that
we see today
ii. Would have promoted stability (and homogeneity
rather than variety) in the gene pool of any particular
kind of organism worldwide.
xi. Relevance of a global flood to our current focus on the preservation of the full
variety of the gene pool
1. Without the large-scale, post-flood, environmental differentiation, the
gene pools of every subpopulation on the planet would be static and
would not shift to produce wide swings in variety.
2. No matter how far it migrated, each subpopulation would retain the
heterozygous gene pool of the original kind.
3. An individual such as Noah could collect the individuals from each
kind without worrying about creating a genetic bottleneck by
accidentally picking a pair that was drastically homozygous and
reduced in variety.
34
4.
The wide swings in variety that we see today are unique to the postflood environment.
5. The wide range of differences we see in subpopulations today result
from certain existing traits being brought to the surface with increased
prominence as natural selection removes disadvantageous traits from
individual subpopulations according to their particular environment.
xii. Difficulty in reconstructing the original kinds
1. It is more difficult to reconstruct the original “kinds” today than it
would have been before or even right after the Flood
a. Before or just after the Flood the existing population was
comprised of individuals more closely representing the
heterozygous, original gene pool.
b. Today all of the existing subpopulations are comprised of
varieties produced by much more homozygous representations
of the original gene pool.
2. Before and right after the Flood it would have been easy to identify the
boundaries of a kind, because all of the members would have looked
roughly the same, representing what the full kind looked like.
a. Today, we attempt to reconstruct the kind from more
homozygous varieties, we would have had access to
individuals exhibiting the full, original gene pool.
F. Defining the Boundaries of Kinds and Species
i. A critical issues for each theory involves defining the critical group that is the
focus of the theory.
1. In evolution theory
a. The focus is on the species.
i. On a large-scale all life forms originated through
descent from a common ancestor results from the
small-scale process of new species originating from
existing species.
ii. It is essential to be able to identify with certainty that
a new species has in fact formed.
iii. And according to ideal evolutionary norms, a new
species has formed when two groups that were
formerly the same species can no longer interbreed
on the genetic level.
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Species and speciation, The concept of species – External
similarity is the common basis for identifying individuals as being members of the same species. But there
is more to it than that; a bulldog, a terrier, and a golden retriever are very different in appearance, but
they are all dogs because they can interbreed. People can also interbreed with one another, and so
can cats, but people cannot interbreed with dogs or cats, nor these with each other. It is, then, clear
that although species are usually identified by appearance, there is something basic, of great biological
significance, behind similarity of appearance; individuals of a species are able to interbreed with one
another but not with members of other species. This is expressed in the following definition: Species
are groups of interbreeding natural populations that are reproductively isolated from other such
groups. The ability to interbreed is of great evolutionary importance, because it determines that
species are independent evolutionary units.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
b.
Important Evidentiary Questions
i. Since the ability or inability to interbreed is the
described as the definition for whether or not two
groups are the same species or different species…
1. What if all the different species were
actually able to interbreed with at least some
35
c.
other members of the species in an
interconnected web?
2. Are they really different species?
3. And if they are not really different species,
is the arrival of new organisms really
occurring?
Although the ability to interbreed is used as the distinguishing
definition for species, this factor does not actually work as
ideally as the theory states.
i. The following quote from Britannica explains the
difficulty.
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Species and speciation, The concept of species – It is, then, clear
that although species are usually identified by appearance, there is something basic, of great biological
significance, behind similarity of appearance; individuals of a species are able to interbreed with one
another but not with members of other species…Although the criterion for deciding whether
individuals belong to the same species is clear, there may be ambiguity in practice for two reasons.
One is lack of knowledge; it may not be known for certain whether individuals living in different sites
belong to the same species, because it is not known whether they can naturally interbreed. The other
reason for ambiguity is rooted in the nature of evolution as a gradual process. Two geographically
separate populations that at one time were members of the same species later may have diverged into two
different species. Since the process is gradual, there is not a particular point at which it is possible to
say that the two populations have become two different species.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004
Deluxe Edition
d.
ii. Defining species by the inability to interbreed is not
fully applied in the real practice of defining species
because the process in which “new, different
organisms” are formed is so slow.
In evolutionary theory, it takes so long for a “new and
different organism” to arrive, that the steps along the way are
virtually imperceptibly minute.
i. This makes identifying exactly when two groups
actually become definitely 2 species impossible.
ii. It is likewise impossible to identify exactly how far
along toward that threshold the two groups are at any
given point in time.
iii. Wayne State University evolutionary biologist Dr.
William Moore acknowledged and then gave the
following description of this problem.
“Let me speak actually to this issue of what is a species. This is my area of research and to be honest
with you, I don’t know. Now actually, and this is a pervasive problem – or a pervasive topic of
conversation, let me put it that way – it’s really not a problem in evolutionary biology. I just came back
from an international ornithological congress in Durban, South Africa and there was a whole session,
symposium, devoted to species definitions and believe me it was very contentious. However, Darwin,
in a sense, wrote the origin of species, but he also created the problem, ‘What is a species?’…what Darwin
said is a species arises in a continuum. And the problem is that when we see species, we see distinct
entities. Even though wolves and dogs can interbreed, anyone, at least anyone better be able to tell the
difference between a dog and a wolf. There is a profound difference between them. There is this
discontinuity. There are really few intermediate forms…And the problem with defining species, I argue,
is the same as that in defining kind. A process of evolution has occurred and as a result, there are
circumstances, there are situations that are in transition. One of the groups of birds that I work on,
the flickers, red and yellow-shafted flickers of North America are a prime example of two entities
that were recognized as distinct species. They were described as such, actually I think, by Linnaeus,
and certainly recognized as such by Audubon and then suddenly, one day there was a small hybrid
36
zone found on the Great Plains. And it was found that they interbreed. It’s a case where they are in
the process of speciation. And this is why evolutionary biologists have a difficult time defining
species. There are these intermediate situations…It is by a process of descent with modification
through insensibly distinct intermediate forms. It’s a continuum. And as I mentioned earlier that’s
the problem with defining species because the concept of species involves the discontinuity that we
observe between carp and goldfish, between red-shafted flickers and yellow-shafted flickers…I might add
that there are actually a number of cases among animals and many cases in plants, where “species” –
I’m going to begin to put that in quotes – have different chromosome numbers and yet hybridize to
some extent.” – Evolutionary Biologist Dr. William Moore, “The History of Life: Creation or Evolution?”
Debate: Dr. Kent Hovind vs. Dr. William Moore at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, Creation
Science Evangelism, Pensacola, FL, www.drdino.com, Windows Media Video
2.
3.
4.
The creationist and evolutionist models are on equal ground concerning
defining boundaries of kinds and species.
a. There is a continuum in the creationism model as well, which
causes difficulty in establishing the boundaries of a kind.
b. In both models, the difficulty in defining the boundary
surrounds the issue of interbreeding.
Further examination and definition of the creationist concept of a
“kind.”
a. Using illustrations to depict the issues for both sides using
their corresponding terminology.
i. (See Gene Pool Figures 3 and 4.)
1. Figure 3 depicts the creationist model using
the creationist terms “kinds” and “varieties”
2. Figure 4 is a similar illustration but instead
uses the corresponding evolution terms
“families” and “species”
ii. Both illustrations depict that…
1. Different varieties are produced all along the
gene pool, particularly along the movement
toward more homozygous populations.
b. In both theories the different varieties produced all along the
gene pool are produced by the processes of natural selection.
i. Natural selection is simply the process by which
certain genes are reduced and eventually eliminated
from different local populations due to the fact that
those traits are less advantageous in the conditions of
that particular local environment.
ii. Natural selection is the mechanism responsible for
“shallowing” the gene pool causing certain
“varieties” or “species” to experience a reduced
collection of genetic material.
Continuums and defining the boundaries of kinds and species – an
issue for both theories
a. As Dr. Moore articulated the problem with defining the
boundaries of a species is that…
i. “a species arises in a continuum. And the problem is
that when we see species, we see distinct entities.”
b. Likewise if we want to reconstruct the boundaries of the
original kind, at any given point in time, all we can observe
are the existing varieties produced by a kind.
c. In creationism the process of defining a kind is conceptually
the reverse of speciation.
37
5.
i. In defining a kind, if two groups can interbreed, they
are probably just different varieties of the same
original kind.
ii. Thus, connecting all the varieties or species that are
able to interbreed at least with some other variety or
species is at least one initial way to reconstruct a
kind.
1. (See Defining Kind Boundaries Figure 1.)
iii. Just as is the case in with speciation, the ability to
interbreed is an ideal that is cannot be fully
implemented as an absolute standard for practical
reasons.
1. In the creation model, some varieties may
have become so homozygous, so far into the
shallow end of the gene pool that they are no
longer able to interbreed with any members
of the original kind to which they belong.
a. This effect is predicted by the
creationist understanding of how
kinds produce and relate to
individual varieties toward a
shallow end of a gene pool.
b. Thus, just as evolutionists argue
that the ability to interbreed does
not necessarily mean 2 groups are
the same species, in the creationist
model, just because 2 groups are
unable to interbreed does not
necessarily mean they aren’t the
same kind.
iv. Just as the essential evolutionary model internally
predicts and explains why the dilemma arises with
regard to speciation, the creationist model internally
predicts and explains why the dilemma arises with
regard to eventual limits on interbreeding within a
kind.
Further Clarifications about Creationist Claims and the Difference
between the 2 Theories
a. It is often perceived that the creationist model requires and
predicts that all members of the same kind will be able to
reproduce with one another at all times.
b. This is not the case at all.
c. If we look at the text that asserts the model, we can see that it
does not in any way stipulate that all members of a kind will
or should perpetually be able to interbreed with one another.
Genesis 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree
yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth
brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was
in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 And the evening and the morning were the third
day…20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl
that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. 21 And God created great whales, and every
living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every
winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful,
and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. 23 And the evening and the
morning were the fifth day. 24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his
38
kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25 And God made
the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon
the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
d.
e.
Genesis 1:11-25
i. The model says nothing whatsoever about the ability
of all members of a kind to perpetually interbreed.
ii. All that the model asserts is that…
1. Members of a kind will always reproduce
that same kind.
2. No matter how many other members of its
kind an organism becomes reproductively
isolated from, no new kind will ever result
as that isolated organism reproduces.
3. No matter how isolated and inbred it
becomes, it will always and only produce its
own kind.
iii. As articulated by Genesis 1, the creationist model…
1. Is minimalist in the sense that it’s only
inherent assertion is a denial its evolutionary
counterpart
2. Creationism denies that members of one
type of organism will eventually and
gradually reproduce a new and different type
of organism.
Illustratingthe Critical Difference – Figures 5 and 6
i. (See Gene Pool Figures 5 and 6.)
ii. Figure 6
iii. As illustrated above both theories…
1. Agree to the observations that larger gene
pools, (termed families or kinds), have
enough genetic variety that when
subpopulations enter into different
environments, the disadvantageous genes
and traits are lost due to natural selection.
2. Agree that as this process continues toward
the shallow end of that original gene pool
and more and more traits are lost.
3. Agree that eventually a particular
subpopulation may no longer be able to
interbreed with other members of the
original population.
iv. Figure 5 Depicts that Creation theory…
1. Draws an unbreakable boundary or limit
around this observed process, stating that
varieties are produced only by the loss of
genetic material in subpopulations of a kind.
2. Denies the inflow of new beneficial genes
that create new traits, features, organs, and
structures not present in the original gene
pool.
3. States that because variety does not result
from the addition of new, beneficial genes
and traits but simply the manifestation of
genes already existing in the gene pool, each
kind (or family) is an isolated entity.
39
a.
6.
As a result, no new kind will ever
be produced from a previous kind
of organism.
4. Provides that there is a continuum within
each kind but that continuum does not
extend from one kind to another.
v. Figure 6 Depicts that Evolution theory…
1. Asserts that beyond this process, there is
also an inflow of new, beneficial genetic
material that was not at all present in the
existing gene pool.
2. Asserts that this new and beneficial genetic
material is created by the mechanism of
beneficial mutation.
3. States that the inflow of new genes through
the process of beneficial mutation is
represented by the stream of new genes
pouring into the shallow end of the gene
pool, causing it to spill over as new genes
fill up an entirely new gene pool with traits,
features, organs, and structures not present
in the previous gene pool.
a. As a result, new kinds are produced
from previous kinds of organisms.
4. Asserts an extension of that continuum
between all kinds or families, between every
different category and type of organism.
Proving a Theory
a. Proving Evolution over Creationism
i. It is simply not enough to point to the process of
continuum within a kind.
1. What must be proved is the existence of the
inflow of new genes for new traits, features,
organs, and structures sufficient to create a
different gene pool with a whole new
composition of genes that didn’t exist
before.
ii. It is not simply enough to point to existing gene pools
manifesting varieties of the same kind of organism
with all the same traits, features, structures, and
organs that were present in the original gene pool
1. (Creationism also recognizes this process.)
2. What must be proved is that one member of
any existing gene pool has ever produced an
organism with beneficial traits, features,
structures, or organs not present in the
existing gene pool.
3. What must be proved is not a kind
manifesting different varieties of what is still
the same kind, but in effect a kind ever
producing something other than its own,
same kind of organism.
b. Example of Proof for Evolution In Real Terms
i. It is not enough for evolution to demonstrate…
1. Different species of finches varying from
one another
40
2.
Different species of finches perhaps
eventually not being able to reproduce with
each other
3. One species of bird not being able to
reproduce with other species of birds.
ii. Creationism also recognizes and accounts for these
things.
iii. In order to disprove creationism, evolution must
demonstrate through observation and empirical
evidence is something akin to a bird being produced
by a reptile.
ii. None of the Critical Evidence Proving Evolution and Disproving Creationism is
Observed Anywhere.
1. Neither the fossil record nor current observations in nature do or even
can prove Evolution theory over Creation theory.
2. Evolutionists admit that no evidence for the critical difference between
evolution and creationism is observed
a. Evolutionists admit that even if they did occur, changes would
be so subtle from one generation to the next as to be
imperceptible and defy detection.
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Species and speciation, The concept of species – It is, then, clear
that although species are usually identified by appearance, there is something basic, of great biological
significance, behind similarity of appearance; individuals of a species are able to interbreed with one
another but not with members of other species…Although the criterion for deciding whether
individuals belong to the same species is clear, there may be ambiguity in practice for two
reasons…The other reason for ambiguity is rooted in the nature of evolution as a gradual process.
Two geographically separate populations that at one time were members of the same species later may have
diverged into two different species. Since the process is gradual, there is not a particular point at which
it is possible to say that the two populations have become two different species.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Let me speak actually to this issue of what is a species. This is my area of research and to be honest
with you, I don’t know. Now actually, and this is a pervasive problem – or a pervasive topic of
conversation, let me put it that way – it’s really not a problem in evolutionary biology. I just came back
from an international ornithological congress in Durban, South Africa and there was a whole session,
symposium, devoted to species definitions and believe me it was very contentious. However, Darwin,
in a sense, wrote the origin of species, but he also created the problem, ‘What is a species?’…what Darwin
said is a species arises in a continuum…There are these intermediate situations…It is by a process of
descent with modification through insensibly distinct intermediate forms. It’s a continuum. And as I
mentioned earlier that’s the problem with defining species…” Evolutionary Biologist Dr. William
Moore, “The History of Life: Creation or Evolution?” Debate: Dr. Kent Hovind vs. Dr. William Moore at
Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, Creation Science Evangelism, Pensacola, FL,
www.drdino.com, Windows Media Video
b.
Evolutionists admit that the fossil record is utterly incapable of
providing the critical evidence for evolution and against
creationism because…
i. By its very nature, the fossil record simply cannot tell
us whether or not similar organisms could interbreed.
“The process of evolution, Patterns and rates of species evolution, Reconstruction of evolutionary
history, Gradual and punctuational evolution – Species are groups of interbreeding natural
populations that are reproductively isolated from any other such groups. Speciation involves,
therefore, the development of reproductive isolation between populations previously able to
interbreed. Paleontologists recognize species by their different morphologies as preserved in the fossil
41
record, but fossils cannot provide evidence of the development of reproductive isolation because new
species that are reproductively isolated from their ancestors are often morphologically
indistinguishable from them.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Species and speciation, The concept of species – It is, then, clear
that although species are usually identified by appearance, there is something basic, of great biological
significance, behind similarity of appearance; individuals of a species are able to interbreed with one
another but not with members of other species…Although the criterion for deciding whether
individuals belong to the same species is clear, there may be ambiguity in practice for two reasons.
One is lack of knowledge; it may not be known for certain whether individuals living in different sites
belong to the same species, because it is not known whether they can naturally interbreed.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
c.
3.
4.
Consequently, even if an organism of one kind ever produced
an organism of another kind, it would be (empirically)
undetectable and it would not be revealed in the fossil record
either.
How do you falsify a theory with a prediction like that?
a. It’s either false because…
i. It makes a prediction that we never see occurring and
that we see contradicted by every reproduction that
we do see
ii. It’s unscientific because the nature of the prediction
is un-falsifiable.
With no evidence from either present observations or the fossil record
to demonstrate the theoretical continuum extending between different
kinds or families or types of organisms, that part of the theory of
evolution must be accepted on blind, pre-suppositional belief for which
there is no evidence or corroborating observation.
42
G. Micro-Evolution and Macro-Evolution
i. Often origins debates between creationists and evolutions will include the terms
“micro-evolution” and “macro-evolution.”
1. These 2 terms simply refer to the distinctions and processes discussed
above.
2. Micro-evolution
a. The continuum strictly within a kind or family, within a type
of organism in which we see varieties of that kind as natural
selection removes existing genes from the subpopulations.
b. Creationists prefer to call micro-evolution by the term
“variation” or “variation within a kind”
i. This is in order to avoid the logical fallacy of
equivocation
3. Macro-evolution
a. The extension of a continuum between all kinds or families or
types of organisms, so that not only is natural selection
removing existing genes from subpopulations, but
subpopulations are turning into new types of organisms
because beneficial mutation is adding new genes, new traits,
features, structures, and organs, so that all life on earth today
descended from a common ancestor by means of this process
of beneficial mutation.
ii. Ultimately, it is macro-evolution that must be proved.
iii. Both theories agree with the process of micro-evolution and both theories
incorporate that process into their respective models.
IX. Evolution Theory
A. Introductory Notes
i. Although some of the items listed as “acknowledged” parts of the theory by the
evolutionary community itself may at first seem controversial, the expanded
discussion that follows the summary will substantiate each point in detail.
B. Describing the evolution theory and its explanatory mechanisms with regard to the 5
categories of evidence listed in the preceding introduction results in the following
summary of the theory.
1) What caused the origin of the universe in terms of space, time, matter, and energy is not known or stated
even in theory. As a result, several questions are left unaddressed and are even largely regarded as unaddressable. Why did the universe originate a finite time ago rather than an infinite time ago if its
origination is due to automatic, routine forces or processes? What automatic, routine forces or processes
caused the origin of the universe? Why do those automatic, routine forces or processes exist? Are they
eternal or were they caused by something else? How can the insufficiency problem of infinite regress be
avoided by the suggestion of automatic, routine forces or processes? How does the suggestion of automatic,
routine forces or processes avoid the scientific principle of Occam’s Razor, which prohibits multiplying
causes and elements endlessly beyond the bare minimum necessary to explain the observable evidence?
Although all such questions are considered un-answerable by evolutionary theory and although they all
have essential relevance concerning whether or not automatic, routine forces are sufficient to cause the
universe, an automatic, routine force or process that has not been identified or defined is advanced as the
cause for the origin of the universe in terms of space, time, matter, and energy.
2) A special location near the center of the universe would be too coincidental to avoid teleology. In order
to construct a universe that is feasibly caused by automatic, routine processes, it is assumed that the
universe is homogeneous and isotropic, meaning that it has uniform distribution and consequently will
appear uniformly distributed when viewed in every direction. The formation and distribution of the largescale structures of the universe such as superclusters, clusters, and galaxies require that 96 percent of the
universe is composed of dark matter and energy, which have not been detected or observed and the
properties of which are also not known. Furthermore, although neither detected nor observed, different
types of dark matter have been theorized, each possessing different properties that are necessary for the
43
formation and distribution of the universe’s large-scale structures. In addition, the exact proportion of
respective speculative types of dark matter required to result in the formation and current distribution of
these structures is acknowledged to either not work at all or to be “too ideal” to conform to nonteleological, automatic, routine processes. Despite the lack of even a working speculation for how
automatic, routine processes could cause the existing structures and their distribution, nevertheless an
automatic, routine process is advanced as the cause and it is hoped that a working scenario can be
conceived and articulated at some point in the future. Lastly, when selectively filtered, the observed
evidence concerning the phenomenon of redshift can be presented to indicate the 10-20 billion-year age of
the universe.
3) Two categories of processes are acknowledged to cause the earth’s geologic features, slow, gradual
processes (such as erosion) and rapid catastrophes. Although rapid catastrophes have been directly
observed to cause major features while slow, gradual processes by definition require to much time for any
human to observed, the earth’s geologic features are assumed to predominantly be the result of these slow,
automatic, routine processes, which given their slow nature, indicate that it would take a very long time for
the earth’s features to be formed. As a consequence, slow, uniform processes then lead to a very old age for
the earth. Although in order for a fossil to form, the organism must be buried rapidly, the rock layers, which
buried fossilized organisms, were laid down very slowly over tens of thousand to millions of years. And
although it is acknowledged that the order in which rock layers are found by its nature cannot denote the
rate of their formation, dates and ages separated by many thousands or millions of years are nevertheless
assigned to each rock layer. This process is known as relative dating. And even before the onset of
radioactive dating methods, it was this practice of assigning hypothetical ages to rock layers that was
accepted as disproving the previously established 6-10 thousand year “young age” of the earth asserted in
the Bible. Furthermore, these hypothetical ages asserted from relative dating make radioactive dating
methods possible and are the first step in radioactively dating any sample. On their own radioactive dating
methods, even the most prominent of them, are based upon equations in which the critical factors for age
determination are unknown and have to be assumed and adjusted in order for any age calculation to even be
possible. And although the relationship between radioactive dating and relative dating is circular, the dates
are accepted because they confirm each other and because they conform to expectations for the
hypothetical evolutionary time scale for the earth.
4) Various theoretical scenarios are offered for the origin of life. And although each individual scenario is
acknowledged to be insufficient due to environmental prohibitions involving chemicals and energy sources,
the known geologic history of the earth, and statistical improbabilities particularly those surrounding the
arrival of cellular systems that are currently irreducibly functionally interdependent, the origin of life is
asserted to be the result of automatic, routine processes, in a yet unobserved environment perhaps even
occurring on another planet at an unknown time in the past when conditions and time allotments would be
ideal.
5) Although the production of a new or different organism from an existing organism occurs in steps that
are too subtle and slow to be observed directly and although the fossil record likewise contains no
intermediate or transitional forms, it is advanced that all the varieties of organisms on earth today are not
reproductively static, but came into being as generations of offspring from one original organism changed
over time into new and different types of organisms. Beneficial gene mutations are acknowledged to be the
only potential automatic, routine source for the arrival of these new types of organisms. The frequency of
beneficial mutations is acknowledged to be extremely rare. And although there are probability obstacles
concerning any theoretical beneficial mutation being passed on through reproduction and accumulating in
an order and association necessary for new functions to result, the arrival of every variety of organism,
every trait, structure, and organ, and every gene on the planet today are attributed to the automatic, routine
process of beneficial mutation.
C. Expanded Commentary: Evolution Theory
i. In this section we will take an up-close look at 2 particular avenues of evidence
that deal with the issue of time.
ii. The sources used are common reference sources such as Britannica
Encyclopedia, Microsoft Encarta, Worldbook Encyclopedia, as well as notable
44
scientific magazines such as Discover and American Scientists, even the journal
Science.
1. The articles are written by non-creationist professionals who possess
doctorates in the field and teach or work at established, non-creationist
institutions, as can be seen particularly at the end of the Worldbook
Encyclopedia quotes.
iii. Controversy concerning our defining evolution theory to indicate that there
really is no working evolutionary theory or explanation for the central origins
issues, such as the origin of the universe’s structures, the origin of life, and the
origin of species.
1. Our point is not that the mere presence of disagreement or differing
opinions among evolutionists means that their theory is wrong.
a. A view is not disproved by the mere fact that its adherents
disagree on some points, but by whether or not that view has
any viable, working form at all.
iv. Barriers to Evolution theory on the Origin of Life
1. The “known geologic history” of the earth and its environmental
composition are a barrier that so far has unraveled all attempts to offer
specific scenarios for how life originated on earth from automatic,
routine processes.
2. The irreducibly, functionally interdependent relationships of the
components of cellular systems is another such barrier.
3. In this way, this expanded commentary on evolutionary theory really
will serve to establish the defining positions of evolutionary theory
on…
a. Cell components
b. The origin of life
c. The Geologic history, the timing, and the environment in
which evolutionary theory asserts that life emerged.
D. Evolution on the Origin of Life: Irreducible Functional Interdependencies
i. The second barrier to the origin of life is the fact that all observable cellular
systems are comprised of components that are currently irreducibly functionally
interdependent.
ii. Identifying some of those basic cell components and how they relate to one
another.
1. Cells are the “the basic unit of which all living things are composed”
and “the smallest units retaining the fundamental properties of life.”
2. Cells are comprised of proteins.
3. Proteins, which are essential to a living cell, are made up of
polypetides.
4. Polypeptides are made up of amino acids.
“Protein – complex molecule composed of amino acids and necessary for the chemical processes that
occur in living organisms. Proteins are basic constituents in all living organisms…All known
enzymes, for example, are proteins…Proteins are sometimes referred to as macromolecular
polypeptides because they are very large molecules and because the amino acids of which they are
composed are joined by peptide bonds…Amino acids are joined together to form long chains; most of
the common proteins contain more than 100 amino acids…The vast majority of the proteins found in
living organisms are composed of only 20 different kinds of amino acids, repeated many times and
strung together in a particular order. Each type of protein has its own unique sequence of amino
acids; this sequence, known as its primary structure, actually determines the shape and function of the
protein.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Amino acid – Although more than 100 amino acids occur naturally, only 20 are commonly used in
protein synthesis; these are the same in all living organisms, from protozoa to plants and animals…A
peptide bond is formed by a condensation (water-loss) reaction between the carboxyl group of one amino
45
acid and the amino group of the next amino acid occurring in a protein. Thus, proteins are formed by the
linear arrangement of amino acids in a particular order. Most of the common proteins contain more
than 100 amino acids. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) contains the genetic information that dictates the
specific sequence of amino acids found in all proteins.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
5.
6.
Cells also contain enzymes, which are also required for the basic
functions of a living cell.
Cells also contain DNA and RNA, which are both nucleic acids.
a. Nucleic acids are polynucleotides, which are chains of “many”
nucleotides.
b. A nucleotide is a molecule comprised of a sugar (ribose or
deoxyribose), a phosphate, and a nitrogen base (DNA:
adenine, guanine, cytosine, thymine; RNA: uracil instead of
thymine).
“Nucleic acid, General considerations, Classification – There are two classes of nucleic acids:
ribonucleic acids (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA)…Basic components – Nucleic acids are
polynucleotides, long chain compounds consisting of repeating structural units called nucleotides
(Figure 1). They may be composed of more than 1,000,000 of these nucleotides. The nucleotides
themselves consist of three subunits. Each of them contains a pentose (or five-carbon) sugar, a purine
or pyrimidine base, and a phosphate residue. The pentose sugar is ribose in RNA and 2-deoxyribose in
DNA...It was the fact that adenine and thymine are present in approximately equal amounts in DNA, as
are guanine and cytosine, together with information from X-ray crystallography of DNA that led Nobel
Prize winners J.D. Watson and F.H.C. Crick to postulate that the DNA molecule consists of two chains or
strands of polynucleotides coiled around each other to form a double helix, the bases of one helical strand
being paired with complementary bases of the other by hydrogen bonds: adenine paired with thymine
and cytosine with guanine (see Figure 2).” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
7.
Finally, although not all cells have membranes around their nucleus, all
cells do have an outer membrane.
iii. Key Issue – cell origin and formation without foresight (teleology)
1. Keep in mind that evolutionary theory asserts that all of these
foundational cell components came about and assembled themselves
together through automatic, routine processes without the foresight of
intelligent agency.
a. Consequently, evolutionary scientists have undertaken
experiments designed to corroborate this prediction.
b. For example, experiments using lightning and ultraviolet light
have produced amino acids, sugars, and nucleic acids.
“Perhaps the most influential first surfaced four decades ago, when in a dramatic experiment a University
of Chicago graduate student named Stanley Miller simulated the creation of life in a laboratory…When
Miller analyzed the brew, he found that it contained amino acids, the building blocks of
protein…And the simple experiment (It’s so easy to do--high school students now use it to win their
science fairs, Miller says) stimulated a rush of studies, with the result that a number of other organic
compounds, including adenine and guanine, two of the ingredients of RNA and DNA, were produced
by similar procedures.” – “How Did Life Start?,” by Peter Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11,
November 1992, Biology & Medicine
“Sagan, Carl Edward – Later in the 1960s Sagan built on the work of American chemists Stanley Miller
and Harold Urey. In the 1950s Miller and Urey had combined methane, ammonia, water vapor, and
hydrogen, the probable components of the earth's early atmosphere, in a flask. They introduced electrical
sparks into the mixture to simulate lightning. When they analyzed the contents of the flask, they found that
the chemicals had combined to form amino acids and hydroxy acids, the building blocks of the
proteins in living things. Sagan followed a similar method, but refined the primordial soup mixture to
include methane, ammonia, water, and hydrogen sulfide. He also exposed the mixture to ultraviolet light
46
to simulate the effect of sunlight on the chemicals. His mixture produced amino acids as well as
several kinds of sugars and nucleic acids.” – "Sagan, Carl Edward," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia
99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
2.
Clarifications on that such experiments are not proof of the origin of
life without intelligent foresight.
a. The Miller and Urey Experiment
i. The Miller and Urey experiement is acknowledged to
have been based upon the wrong natural
environment.
1. The environment they used was critically
way too friendly to the formation of prebiotic compounds
2. The environment they used was not
available on the early earth.
“For example, what if the primordial atmosphere wasn’t anything like the one Miller and Urey
imagined? Would it be so easy to produce organics then? The Miller-Urey experiment was a strong
foundation because it was consistent with theories at the time, says geochemist Everett Shock of
Washington University in St. Louis. The problem is that subsequent research has swept away a lot of
those ideas. The Miller-Urey atmosphere contained a lot of hydrogen. But now the atmosphere of the
early Earth is thought to have been more oxidized. That makes Miller’s scenario less probable,
because it’s a lot harder to make organic molecules in the presence of oxygen. A hydrogen-rich
atmosphere is relatively unstable. When zapped by lightning or other sources of energy, molecules in
that environment readily tumble together into organic compounds. Not so in a heavily oxidized
atmosphere. While an infusion of energy may cause a few simple organics to form, for the most part
the results are inorganic gases like carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide. These are the constituents
of smog, says Shock. So basically what you’re getting is a lot of air pollution.” – “How Did Life Start?,”
by Peter Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11, November 1992, Biology & Medicine
ii. The Miller and Urey experiment did produce amino
acids, but just producing a collection of raw amino
acids isn’t far enough along to constitute proof of the
emergence of life without foresight from automatic,
routine processes.
1. First, the most common proteins are 100
amino acids long and require the right amino
acids in the right order to function for living
processes.
2. Second, the amino acids produced in such
laboratory experiments are always a mixture
of both right-handed and left-handed mirrorimages.
“Life, The origin of life, The earliest living systems – Molecules made of the same units can be put
together in complementary ways like a left- and right-handed glove. The same building blocks can be
used to produce molecules that are three-dimensional mirror images of each other…The laboratory
simulation experiments always produce both types.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
a.
b.
47
Amino acids in living things are all
left-handed and any mixture of
amino acids will eventually revert
to include right-handed versions.
A mixture involving both righthanded and left-handed amino
acids results in “proteins that no
longer function”
iii. This means that the amino acids and proteins
produced by Miller and Urey are useless to the
formation of a cell.
“Another risk involves changes in the structure of amino acids, a kind of spontaneous twisting known
as racemization. Amino acids can exist in either left- or right-twisting versions, but living cells use
only left-twisting ones. If a cell becomes completely dormant, it cannot repair proteins that
spontaneously flip to the right-twisted form, and these harmful errors can build up. After 3 million
years, a revived bacterium would find itself with proteins that no longer function.” – Looking for Life
in All the Wrong Places, by Will Hively, DISCOVER, Vol. 18 No. 05, May 1997, Astronomy & Physics
b.
Microsoft Encarta’s statement that “nucleic acids” have been
formed in experiments.
i. When found in nature nucleic acids (polynucleotides)
themselves are not self-replicating.
1. What is actually observed is that replication
requires both DNA and RNA along with the
presence of specific enzymes, which are
proteins.
“Protein – complex molecule composed of amino acids and necessary for the chemical processes that
occur in living organisms. Proteins are basic constituents in all living organisms. Their central role in
biological structures and functioning was recognized by chemists in the early 19th century when they
coined the name for these substances from the Greek word proteios, meaning "holding first place." Proteins
constitute about 80 percent of the dry weight of muscle, 70 percent of that of skin, and 90 percent of that of
blood. The interior substance of plant cells is also composed partly of proteins. The importance of proteins
is related more to their function than to their amount in an organism or tissue. All known enzymes, for
example, are proteins and may occur in very minute amounts; nevertheless, these substances catalyze
all metabolic reactions, enabling organisms to build up the chemical substances-other proteins,
nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and lipids-that are necessary for life.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004
Deluxe Edition
2.
Replication is part of the essential definition
of life.
3. The mere production of basic nucleic acids
is not sufficient to allow or cause
replication.
ii. So, even if simple nucleic acids were produced in
experimentation, or if either DNA or RNA were to be
actually produced in experimentation, without the
other and without the specific enzymes, this would
not be sufficient to demonstrate the origination of life
from automatic, routine processes.
iii. The nucleic acids formed in such experiments are not
as complex as functional DNA and RNA.
1. The nucleic acids (polynucleotides) formed
in such experiments…
a. Have not been self-replicating
b. Have not caused amino acids to
assemble into proteins, which
would be required for the basic
self-replication involved in life.
iv. Irreducible functional interdependence and evolutionary speculations suggested
to avert this obstacle
48
1.
Britannica describes what we have referred to as the “irreducible
functional interdependence” between cell components.
“Life, the origin of life, the origin of the code – So far as is known, polynucleotides have no catalytic
properties, and proteins have no reproductive properties. It is only the partnership of the two
molecules [polynucleotides such as DNA and RNA and proteins, including enzymes] that makes
contemporary life on Earth possible. Accordingly, a critical and unsolved problem in the origin of life
is the first functional relation between these two molecules, or, equivalently, the origin of the genetic
code. The molecular apparatus ancillary to the operation of the code—the activating enzymes, adapter
RNAs, messenger RNAs, ribosomes, and so on—are themselves each the product of a long
evolutionary history and are produced according to instructions contained within the code. At the
time of the origin of the code such an elaborate molecular apparatus was of course absent.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
2.
3.
There is a universally observed interdependent relationship between
such molecules as DNA, RNA, enzymes, and proteins that has
prompted evolutionists to refer to the origin of life in terms of a
“chicken and egg dilemma”
Evolutionary theory has proposed that irreducible functional
interdependence might be resolved by RNA (itself a polynucleotide or
nucleic acid) serving in the role currently performed by enzymes.
a. Important notes to keep in mind:
i. When found in nature nucleic acids (polynucleotides)
themselves are not self-replicating.
ii. No such catalytic RNA has been produced in the
experiments above by Miller, Urey, or Carl Sagan.
iii. Instead, only pre-biotic compounds have been
assembled from gases and energy in such
experiments.
“Ordinarily, it takes the complex biochemical machinery of a cell to reproduce protein molecules.
The building blocks of life simply don't replicate themselves by themselves they need help – lots of it
– from enzymes and above all from information carried in DNA and RNA. How the whole business
of molecular replication got started has been and remains one of the central mysteries of the origin of
life. The origin of life is a classic "chicken-and-egg" dilemma. In the presumed molecular evolution on
primitive Earth, what came first, proteins or the nucleic acids RNA and DNA? And remember that the
enzymes necessary to make proteins are themselves proteins, where did they come from?” –
“PRIMITIVE LIFE, Self-Reproducing Molecules Reported by MIT Researchers,” By Eugene F. Mallove,
Published by the MIT News Office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.
"The Beginnings of Life on Earth, The RNA World – Whatever the earliest events on the road to the
first living cell, it is clear that at some point some of the large biological molecules found in modern cells
must have emerged. Considerable debate in origin-of-life studies has revolved around which of the
fundamental macromolecules came first—the original chicken-or-egg question. The modern cell
employs four major classes of biological molecules—nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
The debate over the earliest biological molecules, however, has centered mainly on the nucleic acids,
DNA and RNA, and the proteins. At one time or another, one of these molecular classes has seemed a
likely starting point, but which?" – “The Beginnings of Life on Earth,” Christian de Duve, American
Scientist, September-October 1995
“Scientists believe that life on Earth emerged from carbon compounds and other simple chemicals. But it
has long been a mystery how those raw materials were transformed into DNA. After all, DNA can’t
survive without proteins. So the question has been: What came before DNA? RNA could be the
answer.” – “What Came Before DNA?,” by Carl Zimmer, DISCOVER Vol. 25 No. 06, June 2004, Biology
& Medicine
49
b.
The quote above suggests that RNA “could be” the solution to
the chicken and egg dilemma.
i. Even Britannica Encyclopedia reflects the
evolutionary theorization that RNA might be able to
serve in this capacity.
“Enzyme, Chemical nature – All enzymes were once thought to be proteins, but since the1980s the
catalytic ability of certain nucleic acids, called messenger RNAs, has been demonstrated, refuting this
axiom.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
c.
Midway through the quote below, the author states that “the
chicken-or-egg conundrum” disappeared with the
understanding that an RNA molecule could “catalyze the
synthesis of more like RNA strands,” which became
“theoretically possible” due to the discovery by Sydney
Altman and Tom Cech of RNA molecules that could
“catalytically excise portions of themselves or other RNA
molecules.”
"The Beginnings of Life on Earth, The RNA World – Whatever the earliest events on the road to the
first living cell, it is clear that at some point some of the large biological molecules found in modern cells
must have emerged. Considerable debate in origin-of-life studies has revolved around which of the
fundamental macromolecules came first—the original chicken-or-egg question. The modern cell
employs four major classes of biological molecules—nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
The debate over the earliest biological molecules, however, has centered mainly on the nucleic acids,
DNA and RNA, and the proteins. At one time or another, one of these molecular classes has seemed a
likely starting point, but which? To answer that, we must look at the functions performed by each of
these in existing organisms…For a while, the only thing RNA did not seem capable of doing was
catalyzing chemical reactions. That view changed when in the late 1970s, Sydney Altman at Yale
University and Thomas Cech at the University of Colorado at Boulder independently discovered
RNA molecules that in fact could catalytically excise portions of themselves or of other RNA
molecules. The chicken-or-egg conundrum of the origin of life seemed to fall away. It now appeared
theoretically possible that an RNA molecule could have existed that naturally contained the sequence
information for its reproduction through reciprocal base pairing and could also catalyze the synthesis
of more like RNA strands...In 1986, Harvard chemist Walter Gilbert coined the term "RNA world" to
designate a hypothetical stage in the development of life in which 'RNA molecules and cofactors [were] a
sufficient set of enzymes to carry out all the chemical reactions necessary for the first cellular structures.'
Today it is almost a matter of dogma that the evolution of life did include a phase where RNA was
the predominant biological macromolecule.” – “The Beginnings of Life on Earth,” Christian de Duve,
American Scientist, September-October 1995
At first glance, the assertion that “the chicken-or-egg
conundrum” disappeared with the understanding that an RNA
molecule could “catalyze the synthesis of more like RNA
strands,” may make it sound like a self-replicating RNA
molecule has been found experimentally.
i. This is not the case.
Problems with the claim that “the chicken-or-egg conundrum”
disappeared with the understanding that an RNA molecule could
“catalyze the synthesis of more like RNA strands”
a. The first problem centers on the meaning of the word
“excise.”
i. RNA excising portions of itself does NOT
demonstrate that RNA could or ever did replicate
itself.
d.
4.
50
ii. While RNA does in some instances operate with the
status of a self-deconstructing molecule, RNA has
not ever been observed to operate as a self-replicating
or self-constructing molecule.
“Excise – Function: transitive verb: to remove by or as if by excision.” – Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate
Dictionary
“Excision – Function: noun: the act or procedure of removing by or as if by cutting out; especially:
surgical removal or resection.” – Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
iii. Sydney Altman and Tom Cech discovered that RNA
could catalyze the removal of portions of itself or
other RNA molecules, which is quite different and
distant from, and in fact the opposite of, building an
RNA molecule.
1. Their discovery is specifically about RNA
breaking itself down or “hacking itself
apart.”
“In the early 1980s Tom Cech, then a young biologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder,
uncovered evidence that RNA does more than simply relay messages from DNA to proteins. In an
experiment that earned him a Nobel Prize, he found that a single-celled creature named Tetrahymena
possessed some RNA molecules that could act like simple enzymes. These molecules, which came to
be known as ribozymes, twisted into a complicated snarl that allowed them to hack themselves apart.
In other words, RNA could carry information like DNA and carry out biochemistry the way proteins do.” –
“What Came Before DNA?,” by Carl Zimmer, DISCOVER Vol. 25 No. 06, June 2004, Biology &
Medicine
iv. The quote below from the same article specifically
states that RNA breaking itself down is still a far cry
from replicating another RNA.
1. As the quote states, for life to be based upon
RNA only would require RNA to do “a lot
more” than the simple deconstruction
demonstrated by the experiment
“In a world before DNA, RNA molecules would have had to be a lot more accomplished than the
Tetrahymena ribozyme. Most important of all, RNA would have to function as an enzyme (known as
a replicase) that could replicate other RNA molecules.” – What Came Before DNA?, by Carl Zimmer,
DISCOVER Vol. 25 No. 06, June 2004, Biology & Medicine
v. The fact that RNA was only found to deconstruct
itself rather than assemble itself from new
components is also attested to later on in the
American Scientist article when the same author
states that…
1. all attempts to engineer “an RNA molecule
capable of catalyzing RNA replication have
failed so far”
2. “the idea of RNA molecules coming
together by some chance combination of
circumstances and henceforth being
reproduced…is not tenable.”
51
"The Beginnings of Life on Earth, Origin and Evolution of the RNA World – On the other hand, it is
also surprising since these must have been sturdy reactions to sustain the RNA world for a long time.
Contrary to what is sometimes intimated, the idea of a few RNA molecules coming together by some
chance combination of circumstances and henceforth being reproduced and amplified by replication
simply is not tenable. There could be no replication without a robust chemical underpinning
continuing to provide the necessary materials and energy. The development of RNA replication must
have been the second stage in the evolution of the RNA world. The problem is not as simple as might
appear at first glance. Attempts at engineering--with considerably more foresight and technical
support than the prebiotic world could have enjoyed--an RNA molecule capable of catalyzing RNA
replication have failed so far." – “The Beginnings of Life on Earth,” Christian de Duve, American
Scientist, September-October 1995
a.
Notice particularly from the quote
above the mention of the word
“foresight.”
b. Foresight is simply a synonym for
purposeful intelligence or
teleology.
c. Once again, the dividing line
between the 2 theories is foresight.
vi. These “failed experiments” failed while attempting to
create far shorter RNA molecules, up to 100 times
short than those observed in modern cells, as the
following quote from the same article indicates.
“Most likely, the first RNA genes were very short, no longer than 70 to 100 nucleotides (the modern
gene runs several thousand nucleotides), with the corresponding proteins (more like protein fragments,
called peptides) containing no more than 20 to 30 amino acids.” – “The Beginnings of Life on Earth,”
Christian de Duve, American Scientist, September-October 1995
1.
b.
c.
If generating self-replicating RNA that is
significantly shorter and less complex is
impossible by automatic, routine processes
that lack foresight, this only adds to the
severe improbability of producing the fulllength RNA that we see today without
foresight.
vii. As the quote above states, it has so far been
impossible to resolve the chicken-and-egg dilemma
using only automatic, routine processes, which
proceed without the benefit of foresight.
The second problem with the perception that RNA resolves
the chicken-and-egg dilemma involves the fact that, as we saw
above, the experiments themselves have significant problems
and do not correspond to necessary conditions.
The third problem with the perception that RNA resolves the
chicken-and-egg dilemma involves the fact that production of
RNA itself is too complex to be considered at all probable.
“Cell, The evolution of cells, The development of genetic information – Life could not exist until a
collection of specific catalysts appeared that could promote the synthesis of more catalysts of the
same kind. Early stages in the evolutionary pathway presumably centred on RNA molecules, which not
only present specific catalytic surfaces but also contain the potential for their own duplication through
the formation of a complementary RNA molecule. It is assumed that a small RNA molecule
eventually appeared that was able to catalyze its own duplication. Such an autocatalytic RNA molecule
would have multiplied faster than its neighbours, usurping the RNA precursor molecules in the primeval
52
soup. Primitive RNA replication would have been imperfect, so that many variant autocatalytic RNA
molecules would have arisen. Any variations that increased the speed or the fidelity of self-replication
would have enabled those variant RNA molecules to out multiply their neighbour RNA. Simultaneously,
there would have been the natural selection of other small RNA molecules existing in symbiosis with
autocatalytic RNA molecules, being replicated in return for catalyzing a useful secondary reaction such as
the production of better precursor molecules. In this way, sophisticated families of RNA catalysts would
eventually have evolved, in which cooperation between different molecules produced a system that
was much more effective at self-replication than a collection of individual RNA catalysts. The next
major step in the evolution of the cell would have been the development, in one family of selfreplicating RNA, of a primitive mechanism of protein synthesis. Protein molecules cannot provide
the information for the synthesis of other protein molecules like themselves. This information must
ultimately be derived from a nucleic acid sequence. Protein synthesis is much more complex than
RNA synthesis, and it could not have arisen before a group of powerful RNA catalysts evolved. Each
of these catalysts presumably has its counterpart among the RNA molecules that function in the current
cell: (1) There was an information RNA molecule, much like messenger RNA (mRNA), whose nucleotide
sequence was read to create an amino acid sequence; (2) there was a group of adaptor RNA molecules,
much like transfer RNA (tRNA), that could bind to both mRNA and a specific activated amino acid; and
(3) finally, there was an RNA catalyst, much like ribosomal RNA (rRNA), that facilitated the joining
together of the amino acids aligned on the mRNA by the adaptor RNA…It is often assumed that the first
cells appeared only after the development of a primitive form of protein synthesis. However, it is by
no means certain that cells cannot exist without proteins, and it has been suggested as an alternative that
the first cells contained only RNA catalysts. In either case, protein molecules, with their chemically
varied side chains, are more powerful catalysts than RNA molecules; therefore, as time passed, cells arose
in which RNA served primarily as genetic material, being directly replicated in each generation and
inherited by all progeny cells in order to specify proteins. As cells became more complex, a need would
have arisen for a stabler form of genetic information storage than that provided by RNA. DNA, related to
RNA yet chemically stabler, probably appeared rather late in the evolutionary history of cells. Over a
period of time, the genetic information in RNA sequences was transferred to DNA sequences, and the
ability of RNA molecules to replicate directly was lost. It was only at this point that the central process of
biology—the synthesis, one after the other, of DNA, RNA, and protein—appeared.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Life, the origin of life, the origin of the code – The molecular apparatus ancillary to the operation of the
code—the activating enzymes, adapter RNAs, messenger RNAs, ribosomes, and so on—are
themselves each the product of a long evolutionary history and are produced according to
instructions contained within the code.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“But while this proposed RNA world was certainly closer to the origin of life, it clearly wasn’t the
beginning. Although much simpler than bacteria, RNA is still a complicated piece of molecular
machinery, containing more than 30 atoms connected in an intricate, interlocking fashion. It couldn’t
have sprung wholly formed into the primordial landscape. Something preceded it.” – “How Did Life
Start?,” by Peter Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11, November 1992, Biology & Medicine
d.
The fourth problem with the perception that RNA resolves the
chicken-and-egg dilemma is that even if it existed, the most
successful self-replicating RNA process would NOT have led
to life or the production of the basic building-blocks of life
known as proteins.
“Life, the origin of life, the origin of the code – Imagine a primitive ocean filled with nucleotides and
their phosphates and appropriate mineral surfaces serving as catalysts. Even in the absence of the
appropriate enzyme it seems likely, although not yet proved, that spontaneous assembly of nucleotide
phosphates into polynucleotides occurred. Once the first such polynucleotide was produced, it may have
served as a template for its own reproduction, still of course in the absence of enzymes. As time went on
there were bound to be errors in replication. These would be inherited. A self-replicating and mutable
molecular system of polynucleotides, eventually leading to a diverse population of such molecules, may
53
have arisen in this way. Alternatively, the primitive hereditary material may have involved some other
molecule altogether, but no concrete suggestion for such a molecule has ever been proposed. In any
case, a population of replicating polynucleotides cannot quite be considered alive because it does not
significantly influence its environment. Eventually, all the nucleotides in the ocean would have been
tied in polynucleotides and the entire synthetic process would then have ground to a halt. So far as is
known, polynucleotides have no an catalytic properties, and proteins have no reproductive properties. It is
only the partnership of the two molecules that makes contemporary life on Earth possible.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
e.
The fifth problem with the perception that RNA resolves the
chicken-and-egg dilemma is that even the purely speculative
ability of messenger RNA to function as self-replicating
would not overcome the difficulties involved in how (energy)
and where (safety from harmful environmental factors) such
molecules formed and eventually thrived.
i. (This will be covered more in the next segment.)
v. Conclusion: Evolution has no viable explanation or evidence for the formation
of cells without foresight only some speculation, which itself hasn’t been
worked out into a full explanation.
1. The following sources regard the RNA solution to the chicken-and-egg
dilemma as merely presumption, assumption, or speculation at best and
as failed at worst because of the observed facts listed above, including:
a. The inability of RNA to construct itself,
b. The overly-contrived nature of even the failed experiments,
c. The improbabilities related to the arrival of RNA itself
d. The fact that even a successfully self-replicating RNA would
not lead to the metabolic processes that constitute life
2. Britannica supports the conclusion that evolution theory on the origin
of life is purely speculative and not based upon what is actually known
and observed.
“Enzyme, Chemical nature – All enzymes were once thought to be proteins, but since the1980s the
catalytic ability of certain nucleic acids, called messenger RNAs, has been demonstrated, refuting this
axiom. Because so little is yet known about the enzymatic functioning of RNA, this discussion will
focus primarily on protein enzymes.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Cell, The evolution of cells, The development of genetic information – Life could not exist until a
collection of specific catalysts appeared that could promote the synthesis of more catalysts of the
same kind. Early stages in the evolutionary pathway presumably centred on RNA molecules, which not
only present specific catalytic surfaces but also contain the potential for their own duplication through
the formation of a complementary RNA molecule. It is assumed that a small RNA molecule
eventually appeared that was able to catalyze its own duplication…It is often assumed that the first
cells appeared only after the development of a primitive form of protein synthesis.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
a.
When speaking of what is “known” and fact, Britannica
asserts that polynucleotides, such as RNA, “have no catalytic
properties.”
“Life, the origin of life, the origin of the code – So far as is known, polynucleotides have no catalytic
properties, and proteins have no reproductive properties. It is only the partnership of the two
molecules that makes contemporary life on Earth possible. Accordingly, a critical and unsolved
problem in the origin of life is the first functional relation between these two molecules, or,
equivalently, the origin of the genetic code. The molecular apparatus ancillary to the operation of the
code—the activating enzymes, adapter RNAs, messenger RNAs, ribosomes, and so on—are
themselves each the product of a long evolutionary history and are produced according to
54
instructions contained within the code. At the time of the origin of the code such an elaborate
molecular apparatus was of course absent.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
b.
When discussing what is actually observed, not simply mere
speculation, Britannica states plainly that “all known
enzymes…are proteins” not polynucleotides.
“Protein – All known enzymes, for example, are proteins and may occur in very minute amounts;
nevertheless, these substances catalyze all metabolic reactions, enabling organisms to build up the
chemical substances-other proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and lipids-that are necessary for
life.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
c.
Britannica, when describing the status of observations of
living cells, asserts that the irreducible functional
interdependence between DNA, RNA, and enzymes is all that
is ever observed.
“Life, Life on Earth, Nucleic acids – Now DNA, RNA, and the enzymes have a curiously
interconnected relation, which appears ubiquitous in all organisms on Earth today.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Ubiquitous – Function: adjective: existing or being everywhere at the same time: constantly
encountered: widespread.” – Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
3.
Other sources also conclude that evolution theory on the origin of life is
purely speculative.
“What can we conclude from this scenario, which, though purely hypothetical, depicts in logical
succession the events that must have taken place if we accept the RNA-world hypothesis?” – “The
Beginnings of Life on Earth,” Christian de Duve, American Scientist, September-October 1995
“The problem is not as simple as might appear at first glance. Attempts at engineering--with
considerably more foresight and technical support than the prebiotic world could have enjoyed--an
RNA molecule capable of catalyzing RNA replication have failed so far.” – “The Beginnings of Life on
Earth,” Christian de Duve, American Scientist, September-October 1995
a.
Stanley Miller of the famed Miller-Urey experiment sums up
the current status and the problematic nature of getting actual
self-replicating polymers or RNA in the following way.
“When Miller analyzed the brew, he found that it contained amino acids, the building blocks of
protein. The lightning had reorganized the molecules in the atmosphere to produce organic
compounds…People were stunned. Articles appeared in major newspapers across the country,
prompting predictions that, like Dr. Frankenstein, researchers would soon concoct living organisms in their
labs…Thus emerged the picture that has dominated origin-of-life scenarios. Some 4 billion years ago,
lightning (or another energy source, like ultraviolet light or heat) stimulated a hydrogen-rich atmosphere to
produce organic compounds, which then rained down into the primitive ocean or other suitable bodies of
water such as lakes, rivers, or even a warm little pond, as Charles Darwin once suggested. Once there, these
simple compounds, or monomers, combined with one another to produce more complicated organics, or
polymers, which gradually grew even more complex until they coalesced into the beginnings of selfreplicating RNA. With that came the RNA world and ultimately the evolution into cells and the early
bacterial ancestors of life. The picture is powerful and appealing, but not all origin-of-life researchers
are convinced. Even Miller throws up his hands at certain aspects of it. The first step, making the
monomers, that’s easy. We understand it pretty well. But then you have to make the first self- replicating
polymers. That’s very easy, he says, the sarcasm fairly dripping. Just like it’s easy to make money in
the stock market--all you have to do is buy low and sell high. He laughs. Nobody knows how it’s
55
done. Some would say the statement applies as well to the first easy step, the creation of simple
organic compounds.” – “How Did Life Start?,” by Peter Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11,
November 1992, Biology & Medicine
b.
Worldbook Encyclopedia states that the current theory of
evolution is “incomplete” with regard to the origin of life from
automatic, routine processes.
“Life, The origin of life – Although scientists have experimental evidence to support parts of the
theory of chemical evolution, many questions remain. One example is the question of how biological
molecules could have become organized into cell-like organisms. Biologists are also trying to discover
how nucleic acids and proteins became related in such a way that nucleic acids determine the kinds
of proteins a cell produces. A complete theory of the origin of life will have to explain this
relationship, which is a basic characteristic of life as we know it.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Harold J.
Morowitz, Ph.D., Robinson Professor of Biology and Director of Krasnow Institute, George Mason
University.
vi. As stated by the above sources, evolution doesn’t even have a full, working
theory for the origin of life without intelligent foresight.
1. The chicken-and-egg dilemma that arises from the irreducible
functional interdependence of basic cell components has NOT been
even theoretically let alone experimentally resolved by evolutionary
theory.
2. The probability of these things arriving at the same time and coming
together, ready to function as a whole is impossibly small.
3. So far, a cause possessing foresight is the only apparent solution to the
existence of such irreducible interdependence.
vii. A list of irreducibly functional, interdependent cell components that produce
insurmountable, irresolvable (“chicken and egg”) problems for the formation of
the cell (the origin of life) from automatic, routine, unintelligent forces.
1. Lists from sources
a. American Scientist lists nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates,
and fats.
"The Beginnings of Life on Earth, The RNA World – Whatever the earliest events on the road to the
first living cell, it is clear that at some point some of the large biological molecules found in modern cells
must have emerged. Considerable debate in origin-of-life studies has revolved around which of the
fundamental macromolecules came first—the original chicken-or-egg question. The modern cell
employs four major classes of biological molecules—nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
The debate over the earliest biological molecules, however, has centered mainly on the nucleic acids,
DNA and RNA, and the proteins.” – “The Beginnings of Life on Earth,” Christian de Duve, American
Scientist, September-October 1995
b.
Britannica lists chromosomes, ribosomes, and membranes.
“Cell, The history of cell theory, Contribution of other sciences – On the contrary, molecular biology
has become the foundation of cell science, for it has demonstrated not only that basic processes such as
the genetic code and protein synthesis are similar in all living systems but also that they are made
possible by the same cell components—e.g., chromosomes, ribosomes, and membranes.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
c.
Membranes are also listed as essential by Carl Deamer of
Discover Magazine.
“Essential Ingredients – ‘Water is necessary for life,’ says Steven Benner. ‘At some point the nucleotide
components had to move into an aqueous environment.’ Also essential are fats, from which cell
56
membranes are constructed. In every organism, genetic material is housed inside a membrane that
keeps dangerous substances out while letting in food and other necessary molecules. After the ribose,
nucleobases, and phosphate combine to form nucleotides, fats are required to make this membrane.” –
“What Came Before DNA?,” by Carl Zimmer, DISCOVER Vol. 25 No. 06, June 2004, Biology &
Medicine
“All organisms alive today keep their DNA, RNA, and proteins together inside cell membranes. These
oily bubbles prevent big molecules from getting out while letting smaller food molecules in.” – “What
Came Before DNA?,” by Carl Zimmer, DISCOVER Vol. 25 No. 06, June 2004, Biology & Medicine
d.
Britannica lists DNA, RNA, and enzymes as well as
specifying at least 2 different varieties of RNA.
“Life, Life on Earth, Nucleic acids – Now DNA, RNA, and the enzymes have a curiously
interconnected relation, which appears ubiquitous in all organisms on Earth today.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Life, the origin of life, the origin of the code – So far as is known, polynucleotides have no catalytic
properties, and proteins have no reproductive properties. It is only the partnership of the two
molecules that makes contemporary life on Earth possible. Accordingly, a critical and unsolved
problem in the origin of life is the first functional relation between these two molecules, or,
equivalently, the origin of the genetic code. The molecular apparatus ancillary to the operation of the
code—the activating enzymes, adapter RNAs, messenger RNAs, ribosomes, and so on—are
themselves each the product of a long evolutionary history and are produced according to
instructions contained within the code. At the time of the origin of the code such an elaborate
molecular apparatus was of course absent.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
2.
Total list of irreducibly functional, interdependent cell components
causing insurmountable, irresolvable (“chicken and egg”) problems for
the formation of the cell (the origin of life) from automatic, routine,
unintelligent forces.
a. Nucleic acids of both adapter and messenger RNA,
b. DNA in the format of chromosomes,
c. Proteins (which are comprised of amino acids) including
enzymes, ribosomes, carbohydrates, fats,
d. Membranes
e. (All of the above cell components are required in order for a
cell to function, which constitutes life.)
“Cell – in biology, the basic unit of which all living things are composed. As the smallest units
retaining the fundamental properties of life, cells are the “atoms” of the living world. A single cell is
often a complete organism in itself, such as abacteriumor yeast.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004
Deluxe Edition
“Cell, The history of cell theory, Formulation of the theory, Early observations – Two German
biologists, Theodore Schwann and Matthias Schleiden, clearly stated in 1839 that cells are the
“elementary particles of organisms” in both plants and animals and recognized that some organisms are
unicellular and others multicellular…Schleiden and Schwann's descriptive statements concerning the
cellular basis of biologic structure are straightforward and acceptable to modern thought.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
viii. A source of energy can also be included as a component in this chicken-and-egg
dilemma.
57
E. Evolution on the Origin of Life: Energy and Safety, a Suitable Environment
i. The other barrier to the origin of life is the geologic history of the earth.
1. The obstacles present in earth’s geologic history concern 2 aspects:
a. energy
b. safety
2. Even if the currently unresolved chicken-and-egg dilemmas of cell
components are resolved, evolutionary theory would still have to
identify a suitable environment in which there was:
a. Sufficient energy to fuel the origin of life
b. Sufficient protection from environmental factors that would
destroy any progress toward life.
3. Earth’s geologic history is where such an environment must be
identified.
a. Identifying when such an environment existed on earth is
critical to this barrier.
b. Therefore, events surrounding the formation of the solar
system are relevant to earth’s geologic history and the origin
of life.
ii. Determining when life emerged on earth – How Evolution theory measures the
age of the earth
1. With a universe that is somewhere between 10-20 billion years old,
evolutionary theory describes the age of the earth as about 4.6 billion
years old.
“Earth, geologic history of, The pregeologic period – The history of the Earth spans approximately 4.6
billion years…It is widely accepted by both geologists and astronomers that the Earth is roughly 4.6
billion years old.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
2.
The oldest rocks on earth are 3.8 billion years old
a. This limits the farthest point of the fossil record simply
because, fossils cannot go back farther than the existing rock
record.
“Geologic sciences, Study of surface features and processes, Earth history, Historical geology and
stratigraphy – Radiometric dating also helped geochronologists discover the vast span of geologic time.
The radiometric dating of meteorites revealed that the Earth, like other bodies of the solar system, is
about 4,600,000,000 years old and that the oldest rocks so far discovered formed roughly
3,800,000,000 years ago. It has been established that the Precambrian time occupies seven-eighths of
geologic time, but the era is still poorly understood in comparison with the Phanerozoic Eon—the span of
time extending from about the beginning of the Cambrian Period to the Holocene Epoch during which
complex life forms are known to have existed.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
3.
This timeframe of approximately 3.8 billion years ago as the front end
of the fossil record is where we encounter significant obstacles to the
evolutionary origin of life in terms of the geologic history of the earth.
iii. Determining when life emerged on earth – The timeframe for life to originate on
earth.
1. Earth’s environment was hostile to life from 3.5-4.5 billion years ago.
a. Earth was “heavily bombarded” by tens of thousands of
meteorites up until about 3.9 billion years ago.
“A World Without Water, Figure 4. Impact craters on the Moon, most obviously visible on the lunar
highlands (left), offer evidence of an era when the inner solar system was subject to a heavy
bombardment of small bodies. The impact rate (deduced from the density of the craters) and their age
(based on radioactive dating of lunar rocks) conform to a theoretical model of cometary bombardment
(right, black curve), which is based on changing rates of cometary flux to the inner solar system from the
58
regions of the giant planets in the outer solar system (colored lines). The observational data (crosses)
suggest that the first 600 million years of bombardment can be explained by a large flux of comets from
Jupiter’s zone. After one billion years the excess impacts (crosses above the black curve) indicate another
source, possibly asteroids. (Image courtesy of NASA.)” – “An Argument for the Cometary Origin of the
Biosphere,” Armand H. Delsemme, American Scientist, Volume 89, 2004
“Earth, geologic history of, The pregeologic period – The history of the Earth spans approximately 4.6
billion years. The oldest known rocks, however, have an isotopic age of only about 3.9 billion years.
There is, in effect, a stretch of 700 million years for which no geologic record exists, and the evolution of
this pregeologic period of time is not surprisingly the subject of much speculation. To understand this littleknown period, the following factors have to be considered: the age of formation at 4.6 billion years ago, the
processes in operation until 3.9 billion years ago, the bombardment of the Earth by meteorites, and
the earliest zircon crystals…It is known from direct observation that the surface of the Moon is covered
with a multitude of meteorite craters. There are about 40 large basins attributable to meteorite
impact. Known as maria, these depressions were filled in with basaltic lavas caused by the impact-induced
melting of the lunar mantle. Many of these basalts have been analyzed isotopically and found to have
crystallization ages of 3.9 to 4 billion years. It can be safely concluded that the Earth, with a greater
attractive mass than the Moon, must have undergone more extensive meteorite bombardment.
According to the English-born geologist Joseph V. Smith, a minimum of 500 to 1,000 impact basins
were formed on the Earth within a period of about 100 to 200 million years prior to 3.95 billion years
ago. Moreover, plausible calculations suggest that this estimate represents merely the tail end of an
interval of declining meteorite bombardment and that about 20 times as many basins were formed in
the preceding 300 million years. Such intense bombardment would have covered most of the Earth's
surface, with the impacts causing considerable destruction of the terrestrial crust up to 3.9 billion
years ago. There is, however, no direct evidence of this important phase of Earth history because rocks
older than 3.9 billion years have not been preserved.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
b.
Large cometary impacts were not becoming rare until as late
as 3.5 billion years ago.
i. However, such impacts did occur and that they had
such consequences as to boil off oceans.
“The Primeval Biosphere – About 3.5 billion years ago large cometary impacts would have become
increasingly rare, but when they did occur, they produced enormous cataclysms. The oceans would
have boiled near the impact site, causing hurricanes and gigantic waterspouts with fantastic ejections of
gas and water into space. Under these chaotic and seemingly inhospitable conditions, a phenomenon
occurs that is going to have astonishing consequences: Bacteria begin to multiply in the hot waters of the
first oceans.” – “An Argument for the Cometary Origin of the Biosphere,” Armand H. Delsemme,
American Scientist, Volume 89, 2004
ii. “ocean-boiling” impacts continued until right up until
the oldest fossils, which likewise date to
approximately 3.5 billion years ago.
“Conclusion – There is now considerable evidence to support the idea that we owe the existence of
our biosphere to a heavy bombardment of comets in the very early history of our planet. Indeed the
delivery of water and prebiotic molecules explains why life emerged so soon after the conditions
ceased to be utterly hostile. The oldest fossil imprints of bacteria date to about 3.456 billion years ago
(in Australian rocks), and there is indirect evidence that life was present 3.8 billion years ago in the
ancient sediments of Greenland (Figure 10).” – “An Argument for the Cometary Origin of the Biosphere,”
Armand H. Delsemme, American Scientist, Volume 89, 2004
iii. This environment was hostile to the formation of life
for the following reasons.
59
“Although about 100 times as many asteroids as comets approach Earth, comets pack a bigger punch—
they plunge toward the sun several times faster than asteroids. That means a comet could hit Earth with
about 10 times as much energy as an asteroid with the same mass…In 1994 Jupiter's gravity
shredded comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 into 21 visible chunks, which then plunged into the gas giant piece
after piece. A typical piece detonated with the force of about 25,000 megatons of TNT. A chain of
blasts around Earth might wreak more havoc than a single impact.” – “To Catch a Comet,” by Robert
Irion, DISCOVER, Vol. 24 No. 10, October 2003
“Chemical Evidence – The separation of these layers dates to the earliest period of the Earth’s formation,
when it was still accumulating mass by the accretion of planetesimals. The energy of the accretionary
impacts was transformed into a heat so intense that Earth’s surface was covered with a thick layer of
molten lava, perhaps to very great depths.” – “An Argument for the Cometary Origin of the Biosphere,”
Armand H. Delsemme, American Scientist, Volume 89, 2004
“Meteorite – Meteorites generally have a pitted surface and fused charred crust. The larger ones strike
the earth with tremendous impact, creating huge craters…The meteorites that formed craters as large
as the ones in Vredefort, Sudbury, and the Yucatán must have had a devastating effect on the nearby
environment, and they also probably affected global weather patterns. The force of collision would have
spewed molten rock far around the impact site. Dust and poisonous gases that were produced by the
crash when it vaporized minerals in the ground would have darkened the sky over a huge area for
months or even years. Many scientists believe that the event that caused the crater in the Yucatán
Peninsula may have created global climate changes that led to the extinction of the last of the
dinosaurs…Dust and gas circulating in the atmosphere could cut off sunlight for months, killing crops
and reducing the food supply for the entire world. Fortunately, astronomers calculate the average frequency
of major collisions at only about one collision every 300,000 years. ” – "Meteorite," Microsoft® Encarta®
Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Advanced forms of life existed on earth at least 3.55 billion years ago. In rocks of that age, fossilized
imprints have been found of bacteria that look uncannily like cyanobacteria, the most highly evolved
photosynthetic organisms present in the world today…On the other hand, it is believed that our young
planet, still in the throes of volcanic eruptions and battered by falling comets and asteroids, remained
inhospitable to life for about half a billion years after its birth, together with the rest of the solar
system, some 4.55 billion years ago. This leaves a window of perhaps 200-300 million years for the
appearance of life on earth.” – “The Beginnings of Life on Earth,” Christian de Duve, American Scientist,
September-October 1995
“Astronomers and geologists were discovering that Earth had a violent infancy--hundreds of millions
of years after the planet had formed, giant asteroids and comets still crashed into it, burning off its
young atmosphere and boiling away its oceans. In the process, they also destroyed all the chemicals
that researchers assumed were in liberal supply on the early Earth, including the building blocks of
lipids.” – “First Cell,” by Carl Zimmer, DISCOVER, Vol. 16 No. 11, November 1995, Biology &
Medicine
iv. Evolutionary scientists believe that life must have originated between 3.8 billion
years ago.
1. The timeframe for this event is limited by several factors
a. According to evolutionary theory, the earliest fossilized life
forms date to around 3.4 or 3.5 billion years ago.
“Evolution, I INTRODUCTION – The earliest known fossil organisms are single-celled forms
resembling modern bacteria; they date from about 3.4 billion years ago.” – "Evolution," Microsoft®
Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
b.
However, the earliest life forms in the fossil record are
themselves already “highly evolved” and “complicated.”
60
“Life, The origin of life, The antiquity of life – Among the oldest known fossils are those found in the
Fig Tree chert from the Transvaal, dated at 3,100,000,000 years old…Even procaryotes, however, are
exceedingly complicated organisms and very highly evolved.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe
Edition
“The fossil record and modern genetic analysis suggest that humans and all other living species are
descended from bacteria-like microbes that first appeared about 4 billion years ago. But bacteria,
appearances notwithstanding, are very complex. They can be packed with thousands of genes, along
with proteins and other molecules, working together in an intricate struggle to stay alive.” – “What
Came Before DNA?,” by Carl Zimmer, DISCOVER Vol. 25 No. 06, June 2004, Biology & Medicine
i. Because the first fossilized life forms are themselves
“highly evolved,” evolutionists believe that there
must have been even more primitive life forms from
which these earliest fossils evolved.
“Evolutionary biologists have traced our family tree to bacteria, one-celled organisms that have been
found in rock formations 3.5 billion years old. But even these primitive creatures were already quite
sophisticated. They had genes of DNA and RNA and were made of protein, lipids, and other
ingredients. Something simpler must have preceded them.” – “How Did Life Start?,” by Peter Radetsky,
DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11, November 1992, Biology & Medicine
c.
Evolution theory states that the very earliest, most primitive
cells came into existence even earlier beforehand, about 3.8
billion years ago.
i. Britannica indicates that oxygen-producing life forms
existed at 3.8 billion years ago
1. Indicated partially by the existence of iron
formations whose chemical composition
contains oxygen.
“Exobiology, V PROSPECTS FOR DISCOVERY – Scientists now believe that life on Earth dates
back to at least 3.85 billion years before present, so living organisms have populated Earth for more than
80 percent of its history.” – "Exobiology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft
Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Earth, geologic history of, Development of the atmosphere and oceans, Formation of the secondary
atmosphere – The earliest primitive organisms produced free oxygen as a by-product, and in the
absence of oxygen-mediating enzymes it was harmful to their living cells and had to be removed.
Fortunately for the development of life on the early Earth there was extensive volcanic activity, which
resulted in the deposition of much lava, the erosion of which released enormous quantities of iron into the
oceans. This ferrous iron is water-soluble and therefore could be easily transported, but it had to be
converted to ferric iron, which is highly insoluble, before it could be precipitated as iron formations. In
short, the organisms produced the oxygen and the iron formations accepted it. Iron formations can
be found in the earliest sediments (those deposited 3.8 billion years ago) at Isua in West Greenland,
and thus this process must have been operative by this time.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe
Edition
ii. Worldbook similarly refers to the presence of
“chemicals created by living things in rocks” dating
from 3.8 billion years ago
1. This necessitaes the existence of life forms
by that point in time.
“Earth [planet], History of Earth, Life on Earth – Fossils help scientists learn which kinds of plants and
animals lived at different times in Earth's history. Scientists who study prehistoric life are called
61
paleontologists. Many scientists believe that life appeared on Earth almost as soon as conditions
allowed. There is evidence for chemicals created by living things in rocks from the Archean age, 3.8
billion years old. Fossil remains of microscopic living things about 3.5 billion years old have also been
found at sites in Australia and Canada.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Steven I. Dutch, Ph.D., Professor,
Department of Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay.
iii. The American Scientist and Discover magazines
assert that the oldest life forms must predate the fossil
record by about 300 million years, placing the origin
of life around 3.8 billion years ago
“Conclusion – There is now considerable evidence to support the idea that we owe the existence of our
biosphere to a heavy bombardment of comets in the very early history of our planet. Indeed the delivery of
water and prebiotic molecules explains why life emerged so soon after the conditions ceased to be
utterly hostile. The oldest fossil imprints of bacteria date to about 3.456 billion years ago (in
Australian rocks), and there is indirect evidence that life was present 3.8 billion years ago in the ancient
sediments of Greenland (Figure 10).” – “An Argument for the Cometary Origin of the Biosphere,” Armand
H. Delsemme, American Scientist, Volume 89, 2004
“‘Bugs are very clever,’ Kasthuri Venkateswaran says with affection. ‘They started out on Earth 3.8
billion years ago, when nothing else was here!’…Venkateswaran quietly examines the machinery itself,
searching for any clever microbes—‘bugs,’ he calls them—that might try to tag along.” – “Seeding the
Universe,” by Alan Burdick, DISCOVER, Vol. 25 No. 10, October 2004, Astronomy & Physics
2.
Consequences of the timeframe 2 factors above
a. The timeframe for the origin of life is very short in geological
terms – 100-200 million years
b. Given this short timeframe, evolutionists regard the
origination of life as occurring “easily” or “quickly”
i. This stands in direct contrast to the exceeding
complexities, improbabilities, and “long evolutions”
described above for the origin of life
“Earth [planet], History of Earth, Life on Earth – Many scientists believe that life appeared on Earth
almost as soon as conditions allowed.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Steven I. Dutch, Ph.D., Professor,
Department of Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay.
“Life, The origin of life, The antiquity of life – Among the oldest known fossils are those found in the
Fig Tree chert from the Transvaal, dated at 3,100,000,000 years old…Even procaryotes, however, are
exceedingly complicated organisms and very highly evolved. Since the Earth is about 4,500,000,000
years old, this suggests that the origin of life must have occurred within a few hundred million years
of that time.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
c.
The estimation of the “quickness” or “ease” with which life
originated on earth under hostile conditions leads to the
estimation of “high probability,” “normalcy,” and even
“chemical necessity” for life to occur universally (throughout
the universe), wherever and whenever “conditions allow.”
i. Once again in contrast to the extreme complexities,
improbabilities, and “long evolutions” described
above
“Life, Likelihood of life – Because of the apparent rapidity of the origin of life on Earth, as implied
by the fossil record, and because of the ease with which relevant organic molecules are produced in
primitive-Earth simulation experiments, the likelihood of the origin of life over a period of billions of
years seems high…” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
62
“Earth [planet], History of Earth, Life on Earth – Many scientists believe that life appeared on Earth
almost as soon as conditions allowed.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Steven I. Dutch, Ph.D., Professor,
Department of Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay.
“Conclusion – There is now considerable evidence to support the idea that we owe the existence of our
biosphere to a heavy bombardment of comets in the very early history of our planet. Indeed the delivery of
water and prebiotic molecules explains why life emerged so soon after the conditions ceased to be
utterly hostile. The oldest fossil imprints of bacteria date to about 3.456 billion years ago (in Australian
rocks), and there is indirect evidence that life was present 3.8 billion years ago in the ancient sediments of
Greenland (Figure 10).” – “An Argument for the Cometary Origin of the Biosphere,” Armand H.
Delsemme, American Scientist, Volume 89, 2004
3.
Within this narrow window of opportunity, there would have to exist a
suitable environment for the origin of life, which would include:
a. An energy source
b. Safety from prohibitive factors
v. Determining where life emerged on earth – Identifying an energy source capable
of fueling the origin of life.
1. An energy source is necessary for life
“Even if they succeed, many questions will remain before anyone will be able to build a functioning
cell. How does it manage growth and division--a process that demands mind-boggling choreography
even in a microbe? How exactly is this dance powered with energy?” – By Carl Zimmer, DISCOVER
Vol. 16 No. 11, November 1995, Biology & Medicine
“Life – One of the central questions about life is how it originated. The generally accepted theory is that
early in the history of the earth some system of replication powered by external sources of energy
must have been formed. – "Life," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft
Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Life, Life on earth, Metabolism – The chemical bonds that make up living organisms have a certain
probability of spontaneous breakage. Accordingly, mechanisms must exist to repair this damage, or to
replace the broken molecules. In addition, the meticulous control that cells exercise over their internal
activities requires the continued synthesis of new molecules. These processes of synthesis and breakdown
of the organic molecules of the cell are collectively termed metabolism, and for synthesis to keep ahead
of the thermodynamic tendencies toward breakdown, energy must be supplied to the living system.”
– Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
2.
Suggestions for the location of the origin of life is placed around
potential energy sources.
“Some 4 billion years ago, lightning (or another energy source, like ultraviolet light or heat)
stimulated a hydrogen-rich atmosphere to produce organic compounds, which then rained down into
the primitive ocean or other suitable bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, or even a warm little pond, as
Charles Darwin once suggested.” – How Did Life Start?, by Peter Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11,
November 1992, Biology & Medicine
3.
5 important questions regarding a potential energy source for the origin
of life without implying foresight
a. First, did that source of energy occur in sufficient amounts to
facilitate the origin of life?
b. Second, were the pre-biotic chemical compounds located in a
place where they would have had access to that energy?
c. Third, have experiments utilizing a particular source actually
produced life or merely, non-living compounds?
63
Fourth, concerning the “safety” issue, does the environment in
which this energy source is available also contain damaging
elements that prevent the origin of life?
e. Fifth, is that source of energy regarded as adequate by
evolutionary scientists themselves?
Lightning considered not a viable energy source
a. Early experiments replicated this potential energy source, but
currently lightning has been discarded on the grounds that it
would not have been sufficiently available.
i. Early experiments using lightning: the Miller and
Urey experiment
ii. Recent experients do not use lightning: the
experiments of Carl Sagan
d.
4.
“Britannica, Life, The origin of life, Production of simple organic molecules – The first deliberate
experimental simulation of these primitive conditions was carried out in 1953 by a U.S. graduate student,
S.L. Miller, under the guidance of the eminent chemist H.C. Urey. A mixture of methane, ammonia,
water vapour, and hydrogen was circulated through a liquid water solution and continuously sparked by a
corona discharge elsewhere in the apparatus. The discharge may be thought to represent lightning
flashes on the early Earth. After several days of exposure to sparking, the solution changed colour.
Subsequent analysis indicated that several amino and hydroxy acids, intimately involved in contemporary
life, had been produced by this simple procedure…Subsequent experiments have substituted ultraviolet
light or heat as the energy source or have altered the initial abundances of gases. In all such experiments
amino acids have been formed in large yield. On the early Earth there was much more energy available
in ultraviolet light than in lightning discharges...Following such reasoning, a U.S. astrophysicist, Carl
Sagan, and his colleagues made amino acids by long wavelength ultraviolet irradiation of a mixture of
methane, ammonia, water, and H2S.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
b.
Miller and Urey’s experiment
i. Now acknowledge to have depended upon the use of
inaccurate simulations of the early earth’s
atmosphere.
“The first hints that this might be so came from the laboratory, before evidence for it was found in space,
through the historic experiments of Stanley Miller, now recalled in science textbooks…Although the
primitive atmosphere is no longer believed to be as rich in hydrogen as once thought by Urey…” –
“The Beginnings of Life on Earth,” Christian de Duve, American Scientist, September-October 1995
“For example, what if the primordial atmosphere wasn’t anything like the one Miller and Urey
imagined? Would it be so easy to produce organics then? The Miller-Urey experiment was a strong
foundation because it was consistent with theories at the time, says geochemist Everett Shock of
Washington University in St. Louis. The problem is that subsequent research has swept away a lot of
those ideas. The Miller-Urey atmosphere contained a lot of hydrogen. But now the atmosphere of the
early Earth is thought to have been more oxidized. That makes Miller’s scenario less probable,
because it’s a lot harder to make organic molecules in the presence of oxygen. A hydrogen-rich
atmosphere is relatively unstable. When zapped by lightning or other sources of energy, molecules in
that environment readily tumble together into organic compounds. Not so in a heavily oxidized
atmosphere. While an infusion of energy may cause a few simple organics to form, for the most part
the results are inorganic gases like carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide. These are the constituents of
smog, says Shock. So basically what you’re getting is a lot of air pollution.” – “How Did Life Start?,” by
Peter Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11, November 1992, Biology & Medicine
ii. Concerning the results of his own lightning
simulating experiments, Stanley Miller regards the
resulting chemicals that were produced as a far cry
64
from even the basic molecules needed for the
production of life.
“Perhaps the most influential first surfaced four decades ago, when in a dramatic experiment a University
of Chicago graduate student named Stanley Miller simulated the creation of life in a
laboratory…And the simple experiment (It’s so easy to do--high school students now use it to win their
science fairs, Miller says) stimulated a rush of studies, with the result that a number of other organic
compounds, including adenine and guanine, two of the ingredients of RNA and DNA, were produced
by similar procedures…Thus emerged the picture that has dominated origin-of-life scenarios. Some 4
billion years ago, lightning (or another energy source, like ultraviolet light or heat) stimulated a
hydrogen-rich atmosphere to produce organic compounds, which then rained down into the
primitive ocean or other suitable bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, or even a warm little pond, as
Charles Darwin once suggested. Once there, these simple compounds, or monomers, combined with
one another to produce more complicated organics, or polymers, which gradually grew even more
complex until they coalesced into the beginnings of self-replicating RNA. With that came the RNA
world and ultimately the evolution into cells and the early bacterial ancestors of life. The picture is
powerful and appealing, but not all origin-of-life researchers are convinced. Even Miller throws up his
hands at certain aspects of it. The first step, making the monomers, that’s easy. We understand it pretty
well. But then you have to make the first self-replicating polymers. That’s very easy, he says, the
sarcasm fairly dripping. Just like it’s easy to make money in the stock market--all you have to do is buy
low and sell high. He laughs. Nobody knows how it’s done. Some would say the statement applies as
well to the first easy step, the creation of simple organic compounds.” – “How Did Life Start?,” by
Peter Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11, November 1992, Biology & Medicine
c.
5.
Concerning our 4 questions
i. Lightning fails to qualify as a working energy source
for the origin of life.
ii. Evolutionary scientists do not consider lightning to
have occurred in sufficient supply.
iii. The chemical byproducts resulting from lightning
simulations are too far removed from the basic
chemical elements necessary for life.
Ultraviolate light – a difficult prospect for an energy source
a. Related issues
i. Evolutionists suggest that the early earth (even prior
to 600 million years ago as the next quote states) did
not have much oxygen in its atmosphere.
ii. Due to the absence of oxygen, ultraviolet light would
have reached the surface of the earth in large
amounts, providing a great deal of energy.
“Life, The origin of life, The antiquity of life – The fossil record, in any complete sense, goes back only
about 600,000,000 years. In the layers of sedimentary rock known by geological methods and by
radioactive dating to be that old, most of the major groups of invertebrates appear for the first time. All
these organisms appear adapted to life in the water, and there is no sign yet of organisms adapted to the
land. For this reason, and because of a rough similarity between the salt contents of blood and of seawater,
it is believed that early forms of life developed in oceans or pools. With no evidence for widespread
oxygen-producing photosynthesis before this time, and for cosmic abundance reasons described above,
the oxygen content of the Earth's atmosphere in Precambrian times was very likely less than today.
Accordingly, in Precambrian times, solar ultraviolet radiation, especially near the wavelength of
2,600 Å, which is particularly destructive to nucleic acids, may have penetrated to the surface of the
Earth, rather than being totally absorbed in the upper atmosphere by ozone as it is today. In the
absence of ozone, the ultraviolet solar flux is so high that a lethal dose for most organisms would be
delivered in less than an hour. Unless extraordinary defense mechanisms existed in Precambrian times,
life near the Earth's surface would have been impossible. Sagan suggested that life at this time was
generally restricted to some tens of metres and deeper in the oceans, at which depths all the
65
ultraviolet light would have been absorbed, although visible light would still filter through…It has
been suggested that the colonization of the land, about 425,000,000 years ago, was possible only
because enough ozone was then produced to shield the surface from ultraviolet light for the first
time.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
b.
The first obstacle facing the ultraviolet light source suggestion
pertains to the question of sufficiency of its quantity
i. Lower oxygen content allows a sufficient quantity of
ultraviolet light necessary to fuel the origin of life.
ii. How much oxygen was present?
1. One quote above said there is “no evidence
for widespread oxygen-producing
photosynthesis before this time.”
a. The designation “this time” refers
to “600,000,000 years ago” as
stated at the start of the quote.
2. But there is evidence…
a. The 3.8 billion-year-old rocks are
rich in oxygen indicating the
presence of an oxygen-rich
atmosphere
b. The presence of such quantities of
oxygen is attributed to primitive
organisms that “produced free
oxygen as a by-product” of
metabolism.
“Earth, geologic history of, Development of the atmosphere and oceans, Formation of the secondary
atmosphere – The earliest primitive organisms produced free oxygen as a by-product, and in the
absence of oxygen-mediating enzymes it was harmful to their living cells and had to be removed.
Fortunately for the development of life on the early Earth there was extensive volcanic activity, which
resulted in the deposition of much lava, the erosion of which released enormous quantities of iron into the
oceans. This ferrous iron is water-soluble and therefore could be easily transported, but it had to be
converted to ferric iron, which is highly insoluble, before it could be precipitated as iron formations. In
short, the organisms produced the oxygen and the iron formations accepted it. Iron formations can
be found in the earliest sediments (those deposited 3.8 billion years ago) at Isua in West Greenland,
and thus this process must have been operative by this time.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe
Edition
c.
iii. This evidence “for widespread oxygen-producing
photosynthesis before this time,” would…
1. Cause “the oxygen content of the Earth's
atmosphere in Precambrian times” to be
relatively high and, therefore, comprised
partially of ozone,
2. Prevent a sufficient amount of ultraviolet
light from reach earth’s surface or oceans to
fuel an evolutionary origin of life.
The second obstacle facing the ultraviolet light source
suggestion pertains to the question of where pre-biotic
chemical compounds would have had safe access to ultraviolet
energy.
i. Ultraviolet light would be “lethal” to “most
organisms” within “less than an hour” and would
even destroy cyanobacteria present in the water.
66
ii. Consequently, the origination of life on the land or
surface of the ocean was NOT possible due to the
destructively prohibitive presence of ultraviolet light.
“Bacteria, VII BACTERIA IN OUR DAILY LIVES – During photosynthesis, cyanobacteria also release
oxygen, which dissolves in the water. A great variety of aquatic organisms rely entirely on this oxygen for
their survival. Many scientists are concerned that breakdown of the ozone layer may damage
cyanobacteria and other phytoplankton, threatening the survival of the organisms that depend on them for
food and oxygen.” – "Bacteria," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft
Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Life, Extraterrestrial life, The chemistry of extraterrestrial life – Life on Earth is structurally based on
carbon and utilizes water as an interaction medium…The planet, therefore, should have an atmosphere and
some near-surface liquid, although not necessarily an ocean. If the intensity of ultraviolet light or
charged particles from the sun is intense at the planetary surface, there must be some place, perhaps
below the surface, that is shielded from this radiation but that nevertheless permits useful chemical
reactions to occur…Organisms that live slightly subsurface, however, may avoid ultraviolet and
charged particle radiation and at the same time acquire sufficient amounts of visible light for
photosynthesis.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Life, Extraterrestrial life, Molecular factors – But life does require an interaction medium, an
atmosphere, and some protection from ultraviolet light and from charged particles of solar origin.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“On July 20, 1976, the Viking 1 spacecraft had touched down on Mars, and the Friedmanns, along with
millions of other Americans, had listened to Cronkite describe the historic landing…But mission biologists
eventually concluded that the soil on Mars was sterile: no life, they said, could survive the
combination of ultraviolet solar radiation, extreme dryness, and lethally oxidizing compounds found on
the planet’s surface.” – Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places, by Will Hively, DISCOVER, Vol. 18
No. 05, May 1997, Astronomy & Physics
“Even if frozen, Friedmann says, microorganisms cannot survive forever. Radiation--either from
radioactivity in rock or from cosmic rays falling from the sky--will damage bacterial DNA and over
millions of years will almost certainly kill a microbe.” – Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places, by
Will Hively, DISCOVER, Vol. 18 No. 05, May 1997, Astronomy & Physics
iii. Millions of years without protection by ozone from
ultraviolet radiation would destroy primitive life
forms.
1. (This “millions of years” timeframe is
significant since scientists believe the
timeframe available for life to originate on
earth was only millions of years and at a
time without oxygen in the atmosphere.)
iv. Even with the protective ozone present in the earth
today, strong sunlight kills microorganisms in the
desert.
“Porous rock, Friedmann soon realized, is a better habitat for a microbe than parched desert soil. A rock
can store water in its pores, and because it is often translucent, it can admit sunlight, allowing
photosynthesis, yet filtering the extremes of strong light that kill microorganisms in the desert.” –
Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places, by Will Hively, DISCOVER, Vol. 18 No. 05, May 1997,
Astronomy & Physics
67
d.
v. The problems presented by ultraviolet light negate
the possibility of a surface level or near-surface
origination of life on earth.
Hypothesis that life originated deep underwater
i. Water acts as a buffer zone allowing sunlight in for
photosynthesis but keeping out the lethal extremes of
sunlight that are even present with ozone protection.
“Life, The origin of life, The antiquity of life – In the absence of ozone, the ultraviolet solar flux is so
high that a lethal dose for most organisms would be delivered in less than an hour. Unless
extraordinary defense mechanisms existed in Precambrian times, life near the Earth's surface would
have been impossible. Sagan suggested that life at this time was generally restricted to some tens of
metres and deeper in the oceans, at which depths all the ultraviolet light would have been absorbed,
although visible light would still filter through…It has been suggested that the colonization of the
land, about 425,000,000 years ago, was possible only because enough ozone was then produced to
shield the surface from ultraviolet light for the first time.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe
Edition
e.
First obstacle for life originating under water – water is even
more counteractive to the assembly of pre-biotic compounds
than ultraviolet light.
i. Water has the tendency to break down any pre-biotic
compounds of significance.
“Life, The origin of life, Production of simple organic molecules – Despite the breakdown by water of
molecular intermediates, condensing agents are often quite effective in inducing polymerization, and
polymers of amino acids, sugars, and nucleotides have all been made this way. A famous British scientist,
J.D. Bernal, suggested that adsorption of molecular intermediates on clays or other minerals may have
concentrated these intermediates. Such concentration could offset the tendency for water to break
down polymers of biological significance.”– Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
1.
In order to avoid the breakdown of essential
pre-biotic compounds by water it would be
necessary for those molecules to be
collected together by adhering in thin layers
to the surfaces of clays or other minerals
whose chemical composition would prevent
such a breakdown
“Life, The origin of life, Production of simple organic molecules – Despite the breakdown by water of
molecular intermediates, condensing agents are often quite effective in inducing polymerization, and
polymers of amino acids, sugars, and nucleotides have all been made this way. A famous British scientist,
J.D. Bernal, suggested that adsorption of molecular intermediates on clays or other minerals may
have concentrated these intermediates. Such concentration could offset the tendency for water to
break down polymers of biological significance. Of special interest is the possibility that such
concentration matrices included phosphates, for this would help explain how phosphorus could have been
incorporated preferentially into prebiological organic molecules at a time when biological concentration
mechanisms did not yet exist. Mineral catalysis implies that organic synthesis could also occur in deep
water where ultraviolet light had been filtered out.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
2.
68
In the quote above, the term “adsorption”
means that the “molecular intermediates”
such as polymers of amino acids, sugars,
and nucleotides may have been concentrated
by adhering in extremely thin layers to the
surface of solid clays or minerals.
a.
This definition of “absorption” is
also articulated by the quotes
below.
“Adsorption – Function: noun: the adhesion in an extremely thin layer of molecules (as of gases,
solutes,or liquids) to the surfaces of solid bodies or liquids with which they are in contact — compare
absorption” – Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
“Life, The origin of life, Modern theories – Scientists have developed three major theories to explain
the transition from early organic molecules to living cells. All three theories are based on the idea that
the simple organic compounds formed more complex ones, which then gave rise to the structures that make
up cells. The oldest of these theories states that chemical reactions in the ocean or in lakes led to the
formation of large molecules. These molecules then acted as catalysts (substances that speed up chemical
reactions) to cause the formation of complex organic compounds. A second view holds that chemical
reactions producing the first complex organic compound took place on the surfaces of clays or of
minerals called pyrites. In this view, the clays or pyrites acted as catalysts…Scientists are
experimenting to determine which, if any, of these theories corresponds most closely to the known facts.”
Worldbook, Contributor: Harold J. Morowitz, Ph.D., Robinson Professor of Biology and Director of
Krasnow Institute, George Mason University.
f.
Second obstacle for life originating under water – limitations
regarding the depth of the water.
i. It has to be shallow enough that the clay surfaces are
still exposed to sunlight
ii. It has to be deep enough to avoid damage from
ultraviolet light
“Extraterrestrial life, The chemistry of extraterrestrial life – If the intensity of ultraviolet light or
charged particles from the sun is intense at the planetary surface, there must be some place, perhaps
below the surface, that is shielded from this radiation but that nevertheless permits useful chemical
reactions to occur…Organisms that live very far subsurface will be in the dark, making
photoautotrophy impossible.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
1.
Too great of a depth below the surface
makes “photoautotrophy impossible.”
a. The term “photoautotrophy” refers
to organisms that produce energy
from sunlight using photosynthesis.
“Community Ecology, Biotic elements of communities, Trophic pyramids and the flow of energy,
Autotrophs and heterotrophs – All biological communities have a basic structure of interaction that
forms a trophic pyramid…The base of the pyramid is composed of species called autotrophs, the
primary producers of the ecosystem. They do not obtain energy and nutrients by eating other organisms.
Instead, they harness solar energy by photosynthesis (photoautotrophs) or, more rarely, chemical
energy by oxidation (chemoautotrophs) to make organic substances from inorganic ones.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
g.
The probability for the origination of life using ultraviolet
light as an energy source exists in a very narrow band and
walks a very thin line of improbability.
i. It requires just the right amount of ultraviolet light.
1. Too much or too little and the origination
won’t occur.
ii. It cannot be less than a “some tens of meters” deep
but not so deep as to prevent sunlight from reaching
the essential chemical compounds.
69
h.
iii. There has to be clays of the right chemical
composition to prevent the water itself from breaking
down the pre-biotic chemical compounds and prevent
the origination of life.
iv. Below we will address how even under ideal
conditions the presence of oxygen produced by
photoautotrophy, (photosynthesis) itself, would
destroy and prohibit any origination for life in water.
Conclusions about ultraviolet light as an energy source
i. The ultraviolet light suggestion suffers from quantity,
safety, and availability obstacles.
ii. The ultraviolet light suggestion does not produce
sufficient chemical products and ultimately even
evolutionary scientists question and fail to accept its
adequacy.
1. No experiment (including those of Carl
Sagan using ultraviolet light) has ever
produced more than the most basic
components, nowhere near the types of
complex molecules necessary for life to
occur.
“Britannica, Life, The origin of life, Production of simple organic molecules –Subsequent
experiments have substituted ultraviolet light or heat as the energy source or have altered the initial
abundances of gases. In all such experiments amino acids have been formed in large yield…Following
such reasoning, a U.S. astrophysicist, Carl Sagan, and his colleagues made amino acids by long
wavelength ultraviolet irradiation of a mixture of methane, ammonia, water, and H2S.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Sagan, Carl Edward – Later in the 1960s Sagan built on the work of American chemists Stanley Miller
and Harold Urey…Sagan followed a similar method, but refined the primordial soup mixture to include
methane, ammonia, water, and hydrogen sulfide. He also exposed the mixture to ultraviolet light to
simulate the effect of sunlight on the chemicals. His mixture produced amino acids as well as several
kinds of sugars and nucleic acids.” – "Sagan, Carl Edward," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. ©
1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
6.
iii. The insufficiency of ultraviolet scenario and the
barriers to it described above are so well recognized
by evolutionists themselves.
1. Alternate scenarios have been proposed
substituting either a different location or
another energy source in the place of
problematic ultraviolet light.
Chemosynthesis, rather than photosynthesis (and ultraviolet light)
suggested as an energy source for the origin of life.
a. Chemoautotroph is the term used to designated organisms that
utilize organic or inorganic compounds.
i. Photoautotrophs use sunlight.
ii. Heterotrophs use organic compounds from other
living organisms for energy.
“Community Ecology, Biotic elements of communities, Trophic pyramids and the flow of energy,
Autotrophs and heterotrophs – The base of the pyramid is composed of species called autotrophs, the
primary producers of the ecosystem. They do not obtain energy and nutrients by eating other organisms.
Instead, they harness solar energy by photosynthesis (photoautotrophs) or, more rarely, chemical
energy by oxidation (chemoautotrophs) to make organic substances from inorganic ones. All other
70
organisms in the ecosystem are consumers called heterotrophs, which either directly or indirectly
depend on the producers for food energy.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
b.
The process of using organic or inorganic compounds instead
of sunlight for energy is called chemosynthesis.
i. The location for these early life forms are “deep-sea
hydrothermal vents.”
"Archaebacteria – Archaebacteria often live in extreme conditions that were once considered inhospitable
to life. Some archaebacteria live in deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Pacific Ocean. Located at depths
of 3 km (2 mi), the hot vents provide a dark environment with extremely high temperature and pressure
where few creatures can survive. Instead of deriving energy from the sun, these microorganisms obtain
energy by oxidizing inorganic chemicals that spew from the hot vents. In a process known as
chemosynthesis, archaebacteria harvest energy from chemical reactions involving hydrogen sulfide
and other inorganic compounds." – "Archaebacteria," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 19931998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
"Ocean, Life in the Ocean, The Food Cycle – Hot vents support thriving communities of marine life.
However, the food cycle at hot vents is not based on phytoplankton. Instead, such microscopic organisms
as bacteria and archaea serve as the food base. Archaea are single-celled organisms that rank among the
oldest forms of life on Earth. In a process called chemosynthesis, these microorganisms use energy
from chemicals in the water instead of sunlight to produce food and grow." - Worldbook, Contributor:
Dana R. Kester, Ph.D., Professor of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island.
c.
The chemosynthesis scenario hypothetically locates the origin
of life to the deep floor of the ocean where hydrothermal vents
of water are heated by cracks in the floor’s surface.
“And that, says Jack Corliss, is where hydrothermal vents come into the picture. Since his discovery of
the Galápagos hot springs, Corliss, who now works at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt,
Maryland, and a growing number of his colleagues have been promoting the notion that hydrothermal
vents were the birthplace of life. The thing about the hot springs, Corliss says, is that they provide a nice,
safe, continuous process by which you can go from very simple molecules all the way to living cells and
primitive bacteria. The crux is the word continuous. For besides providing safe harbor for the development
of life, vents offer a natural temperature gradient. The vents have it all, from the cracking front in the
interior, where temperatures reach 1300 degrees and cool water filtering down from above cracks the
superheated rock, to the 40-degree seafloor. Whatever temperature you want, says Corliss, you have
your choice. And any chemist will tell you that where you find a temperature gradient is where you’ll
find chemical reactions--maybe even the ones that began life.” – How Did Life Start?, by Peter
Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11, November 1992, Biology & Medicine
“Evolution, IX STEPS IN EVOLUTION – Widely accepted evidence suggests that the first organisms
were archaebacteria, primitive cells without nuclei. These cells may have evolved in waters with
extremely high temperatures and no oxygen.” – "Evolution," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. ©
1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
i. The first obstacle to chemosynthesis in deep sea
vents as the energy source and location for the origin
of life – the presence of oxygen.
1. Oxygen is a significant obstacle to the
formation of pre-biotic compounds, because
it also causes the breakdown of any existing
compounds – more later.
2. The above quotes state that there is “no
oxygen” in these deep ocean, high
temperature vents.
71
3.
However, Discover magazine directly
asserts the presence of oxygen is not only a
byproduct of these vents but one that is
essential to the formation of organic
compounds.
“The vents have it all, from the cracking front in the interior, where temperatures reach 1300 degrees
and cool water filtering down from above cracks the superheated rock, to the 40-degree seafloor.
Whatever temperature you want, says Corliss, you have your choice. And any chemist will tell you that
where you find a temperature gradient is where you’ll find chemical reactions--maybe even the ones
that began life. The reactions Corliss envisions began at the cracking front, half a mile deep in the planet’s
crust, where seawater encountered hot magma. There, in this seething caldron, elements like carbon,
oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and sulfur interacted to form new, organic compounds. Just as in the
Miller-Urey experiments, says Corliss, if you heat simple molecules to high temperature, you can make
organic compounds.” – “How Did Life Start?,” by Peter Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11,
November 1992, Biology & Medicine
4.
The second obstacle to chemosynthesis in
deep sea vents is that strictly chemical
reactions are not likely to produce enough
energy to fuel inorganic reactions.
“Extraterrestrial life, The chemistry of extraterrestrial life – Since after a certain period of evolution,
lives of unabashed heterotrophy lead to malnutrition and death, autotrophs must exist. Chemoautotrophs
are, of course, a possibility but the inorganic reactions that they drive usually require a great deal of
energy; at some stage in the cycle, this energy must probably be provided by sunlight.
Photoautotrophs, therefore, seem required. Organisms that live very far subsurface will be in the
dark, making photoautotrophy impossible. Organisms that live slightly subsurface, however, may avoid
ultraviolet and charged particle radiation and at the same time acquire sufficient amounts of visible light for
photosynthesis.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
ii. The third obstacle to chemosynthesis in deep sea
vents as the energy source and location for the origin
of life – safety and improbability due to highly
restricted temperature limitations.
1. The maximum temperature in which life is
possible appears to be 230 degrees.
“Meanwhile deep-sea thermophiles have been found near vents at temperatures as high as 230 degrees.”
– “Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places,” by Will Hively, DISCOVER, Vol. 18 No. 05, May 1997,
Astronomy & Physics
2.
3.
First, chemosynthesis would have to take
place within a very narrow range of
temperatures…
a. Hot enough for reactions to occur
b. But not too hot or the same
compounds would be ruined.
While heat could provide a potential source
of energy, heat also poses a problem because
it has the tendency to break down important
pre-biotic chemical compounds.
“Extraterrestrial life, The chemistry of extraterrestrial life – Life on Earth lies within a rather
narrow range of temperature. Above the normal boiling point of water, much loss of configurational
72
structure or three-dimensional geometry occurs. At these temperatures proteins become denatured,
in part because above the boiling point of water the hydrogen bonding and van der Waals forces between
water and the protein disappear. Also, similar bonds within the protein molecule tend to break down.
Proteins then change their shapes, their ability to participate in lock-and-key enzymatic reactions is
gravely compromised, and the organism dies…Molecular factors – While the bonds that characterize
life on Earth are too weak at high temperatures, they are too strong at low temperatures, tending to
slow down the rates of chemical reactions generally.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Enzyme, Mechanism of enzyme action – In most chemical reactions, an energy barrier exists that
must be overcome for the reaction to occur. This barrier prevents complex molecules such as
proteins and nucleic acids from spontaneously degrading, and so is necessary for the preservation of
life. When metabolic changes are required in a cell, however, certain of these complex molecules must be
broken down, and this energy barrier must be surmounted. Heat could provide the additional needed
energy (called activation energy), but the rise in temperature would kill the cell. The alternative is to
lower the activation energy level through the use of a catalyst. This is the role that enzymes play.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“But heat is a double-edged sword. It facilitates chemical reactions, but it can also destroy the
products of those reactions. If exposed to high heat for too long, organic compounds decompose. It’s a
very simple argument: if you keep a roast too long in an oven that’s too hot, it’s going to get charred, says
Miller, who has little use for this scenario either. The vent hypothesis is a real loser. I don’t
understand why we even have to discuss it, he says, his voice rising to an exasperated falsetto.” –
“How Did Life Start?,” by Peter Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11, November 1992, Biology &
Medicine
4.
Due to the over-heating problem, Stanley
Miller rejects the “vent hypothesis” as a
“real loser” that is not even worthy of
discussion.
a. Even supporters of the deep ocean
vent theory admit that in order for
it to work, you’d have to get the
compounds so hot to interact
properly that they’d need to cool
“very rapidly.”
b. This creates an improbability
obstacle for the deep-sea thermal
vent suggestion.
“Corliss, however, thinks he has an ace in the hole: a vent’s temperature gradient. He thinks it likely that
the circulating seawater cooled the newly formed compounds almost immediately. If you quenched them
very rapidly, you could preserve them, he says. Then they rose and mixed and worked their way up in
the hot springs, through this huge complex of fractures, cooling as they went.” – “How Did Life Start?,” by
Peter Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11, November 1992, Biology & Medicine
iii. The fourth obstacle to chemosynthesis in deep sea
vents as the energy source and location for the origin
of life – dangers posed by the watery setting
1. Water itself breaks down any potential
formations of important pre-biotic chemicals
2. At these depths, any pre-biotic compounds
that did manage to form would dissipate into
the ocean without every encountering
another organic molecule to interact with
and eventually form life.
73
“Life, The origin of life, Production of simple organic molecules – Despite the breakdown by water of
molecular intermediates, condensing agents are often quite effective in inducing polymerization, and
polymers of amino acids, sugars, and nucleotides have all been made this way. A famous British scientist,
J.D. Bernal, suggested that adsorption of molecular intermediates on clays or other minerals may have
concentrated these intermediates. Such concentration could offset the tendency for water to break
down polymers of biological significance.”– Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Finally the organic compounds were deposited onto the clay minerals lining the mouth of a vent. And
there they stayed. Rather than simply emerging and dissipating into the vast ocean where they might
never encounter another organic molecule, the compounds accumulated on the clay surface. There, in a
concentrated colony, they were able to interact with one another and with the endless supply of new
compounds rising in the hot springs, until over time the first stirrings of primitive life emerged.” – How
Did Life Start?, by Peter Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11, November 1992, Biology & Medicine
iv. The fifth obstacle to chemosynthesis in deep sea
vents as the energy source and location for the origin
of life – added improbability of the presence of clay
surfaces in the deep ocean
1. The above obstacles could be avoided if the
pre-biotic compounds adhered to the
presence of clay surfaces.
2. Stanley Miller even considers this scenario,
including the added role of the clays, as “too
far-fetched.”
“This scenario, attractive as it may seem, is--like so many others--too farfetched for Miller. It’s not
that I don’t want to entertain new ideas--that’s fine, he says. The question is, does this chemistry work?
Actually work in the lab? Either it does or it doesn’t. His point is well taken. Whatever else may be
said about Miller’s ideas, his experiments worked. Talk, even informed talk, is cheap. If they’re to have
an impact comparable to Miller’s, these champions of crystals and vents and interstellar particles
must demonstrate their scenarios. But how? You can’t try to make early life at existing hot springs-they’re already replete with bacteria and other life-forms, so the environment just can’t be the same
as it was on the primordial planet. And re-creating an ancient hydrothermal vent in the lab is a mindboggling prospect. Still, vent researchers are busily conducting experiments designed to do just that…And
Cairns-Smith is investigating the chemical relationships between minerals and organic compounds. But
while he recognizes the importance of experimental proof, Cairns-Smith cheerfully acknowledges
that he may never come up with any.” – How Did Life Start?, by Peter Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13
No. 11, November 1992, Biology & Medicine
d.
7.
Problems with chemosynthesis and the hydrothermal vent
hypothesis
i. Evolutionary scientists themselves (such as Stanley
Miller) state that there is no experimental data at all
to support or demonstrate this chemosynthesis,
hydrothermal vent scenario.
ii. Proponents of the hydrothermal vent scenario
admit…
1. That there is no experimental support for it.
2. That they may never be able to generate any
experiment or experimental data even
capable of supporting it.
iii. The chemosynthesis suggestion attains the status of
being un-testable, therefore un-falsifiable, and
consequently unscientific.
Alterations to the ultraviolet light as an energy source hypothesis.
74
a.
Added Obstacle – the presence of oxygen prevents the
formation of pre-biotic compounds.
i. The requirement that there must be “no oxygen”
present is stipulated when describing the possibility
of pre-biotic compounds assembling on the early
earth.
“Evolution, IX STEPS IN EVOLUTION – Life originated about 3.5 billion years ago, when the earth's
environment was very different than it is today. Especially important was the lack of significant
amounts of free oxygen in the atmosphere. Experiments have shown that rather complicated organic
molecules, including amino acids, can arise spontaneously under conditions that are believed to
simulate the earth's primitive environment.” – "Evolution," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. ©
1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Evolution, IX STEPS IN EVOLUTION – Widely accepted evidence suggests that the first organisms
were archaebacteria, primitive cells without nuclei. These cells may have evolved in waters with
extremely high temperatures and no oxygen.” – "Evolution," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. ©
1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
ii. However, modern evolutionists now understand
that…
1. Oxygen was more present in the early earth
than before and in enough quantity that it
would inhibit any form of energy from
bringing about the assembly of pre-biotics in
the first place.
2. Because oxygen is more stable than other
suggested components it would tend to
inhibit lightning or other sources of energy
from assembling pre-biotic compounds,
causing other compounds, such as “smog,”
to form instead.
“For example, what if the primordial atmosphere wasn’t anything like the one Miller and Urey
imagined? Would it be so easy to produce organics then? The Miller-Urey experiment was a strong
foundation because it was consistent with theories at the time, says geochemist Everett Shock of
Washington University in St. Louis. The problem is that subsequent research has swept away a lot of
those ideas. The Miller-Urey atmosphere contained a lot of hydrogen. But now the atmosphere of the
early Earth is thought to have been more oxidized. That makes Miller’s scenario less probable,
because it’s a lot harder to make organic molecules in the presence of oxygen. A hydrogen-rich
atmosphere is relatively unstable. When zapped by lightning or other sources of energy, molecules in
that environment readily tumble together into organic compounds. Not so in a heavily oxidized
atmosphere. While an infusion of energy may cause a few simple organics to form, for the most part
the results are inorganic gases like carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide. These are the constituents of
smog, says Shock. So basically what you’re getting is a lot of air pollution.” – “How Did Life Start?,” by
Peter Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11, November 1992, Biology & Medicine
iii. Oxygen would…
1. Prohibit the formation of any pre-biotic
compounds.
2. Breakdown any pre-biotic compounds that
did manage to form.
“Life, The origin of life, The earliest living systems – The cell may have arisen in response to the need
for maintaining a high concentration of scarce building blocks or enzymes, or as protection against the
gradually increasing abundance of oxygen on the primitive Earth. Oxygen is a well-known poison to
75
many biological processes, and in contemporary higher organisms the mitochondria that handle
molecular oxygen are kept in the cytoplasm, far from contact with the nuclear material...As the
competition for building blocks increased among early life forms, and also perhaps as the abiological
production of organic molecules dwindled because of the increasing oxygen abundance, the strictly
heterotrophic way of life became more and more costly.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Earth, geologic history of, Development of the atmosphere and oceans, Formation of the secondary
atmosphere – Primitive organisms, such as blue-green algae (or cyanobacteria), cause carbon dioxide
and water to react by photosynthesis to produce carbohydrates, which they need for growth, repair, and
other vital functions, and this reaction releases free oxygen...The earliest primitive organisms
produced free oxygen as a by-product, and in the absence of oxygen-mediating enzymes it was
harmful to their living cells and had to be removed.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
iv. Utilizing ultraviolet light as an energy source for the
origin of life inherently involves photosynthetic
processes.
1. Photosynthesis (or photoautotrophy)
inherently produces free oxygen as a
byproduct and releases it into the
environment immediately surrounding the
pre-biotic compound or even the
photosynthetic organism.
2. Photoautotrophs on land would not only be
susceptible to lethal ultraviolet radiation, but
they also release oxygen into the
surrounding atmosphere.
“Life, Life on earth, Metabolism – A green plant is a typical example of a photoautotroph. It uses
sunlight to break water into oxygen and hydrogen. Hydrogen is then combined with carbon dioxide to
produce such energy-rich organic molecules as ATP and carbohydrates, and the oxygen is released back
into the atmosphere.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“On July 20, 1976, the Viking 1 spacecraft had touched down on Mars, and the Friedmanns, along with
millions of other Americans, had listened to Cronkite describe the historic landing…But mission biologists
eventually concluded that the soil on Mars was sterile: no life, they said, could survive the
combination of ultraviolet solar radiation, extreme dryness, and lethally oxidizing compounds found on
the planet’s surface.” – “Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places,” by Will Hively, DISCOVER, Vol. 18
No. 05, May 1997, Astronomy & Physics
3.
Photoautotrophs in water release oxygen
into their surrounding water.
“Bacteria, VII BACTERIA IN OUR DAILY LIVES – During photosynthesis, cyanobacteria also
release oxygen, which dissolves in the water. A great variety of aquatic organisms rely entirely on this
oxygen for their survival. Many scientists are concerned that breakdown of the ozone layer may damage
cyanobacteria and other phytoplankton, threatening the survival of the organisms that depend on them for
food and oxygen.” – "Bacteria," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft
Corporation. All rights reserved.
b.
There is simply no way for the ultraviolet light scenario to
work.
i. Even if all the improbabilities and obstacles facing
the origin of a self-replicating RNA molecule also
capable of causing protein synthesis were overcome
at the right depth of ocean water with submarine
clays available to prevent the water from breaking
76
8.
them down, there still would be nothing to protect
these molecules from destruction by oxygen.
ii. Consequently, even if the chicken-and-egg dilemma
between DNA, RNA, and enzymes were solved by
RNA, the larger chicken-and-egg dilemma would
remain.
The membrane solution – To protect essential molecules from oxygen.
a. Added coincidences and compounding improbabilities – this
requires…
i. The arrival of RNA and a membrane at the same time
and at the same location
ii. That these 2 items would somehow combine and
interact to bring about this essential protective
function
iii. That these 2 items would combine without isolating
the RNA from other resources needed for selfreplication and protein synthesis.
iv. This coinciding arrival and assembly of RNA and a
functional membrane again defies probability to the
point of implying foresight
b. Membranes are necessary to protect against harmful chemicals
and elements in the environment in general.
i. Below we will see that oxygen is specifically listed as
one of these harmful elements.
"Cell, The plasma membrane – A thin membrane, some .005 micrometre across, surrounds every
living cell, delimiting the cell from the environment around it. Enclosed by this plasma membrane are
the cell's constituents, often large, water-soluble, highly charged molecules such as proteins, nucleic acids,
carbohydrates, and substances involved in cellular metabolism. Outside the cell, in the surrounding
water-based environment, are ions, acids, and alkalis that are toxic to the cell, as well as nutrients that
the cell must absorb in order to live and grow. The plasma membrane, therefore, has two functions:
first, to be a barrier keeping the constituents of the cell in and unwanted substances out; and second,
to be a gate allowing transport into the cell of essential nutrients and movement from the cell of waste
products." – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“The membrane of any cell has to do many things at once. It has to be impermeable enough to keep
essential things (like DNA) in and harmful things (like viruses and poisons) out. Yet a cell membrane
can’t form a perfect seal. It has to be able to flush out waste and heat from its own system and take in
nutrients from the surrounding medium. And the first cell membrane, like the membranes of many singlecelled organisms today, probably had to be able to collect energy as well.” – By Carl Zimmer, DISCOVER
Vol. 16 No. 11, November 1995, Biology & Medicine
ii. (Free nucleic acids are contrasted with the idea of
nucleic acids inside a cell.)
“Life, The origin of life, The earliest living systems – Even the evolution of enzymatic reaction chains
may have occurred in free nucleic acids before the origin of the cell. The cell may have arisen in
response to the need for maintaining a high concentration of scarce building blocks or enzymes, or as
protection against the gradually increasing abundance of oxygen on the primitive Earth. Oxygen is a
well-known poison to many biological processes, and in contemporary higher organisms the
mitochondria that handle molecular oxygen are kept in the cytoplasm, far from contact with the
nuclear material...As the competition for building blocks increased among early life forms, and also
perhaps as the abiological production of organic molecules dwindled because of the increasing oxygen
abundance, the strictly heterotrophic way of life became more and more costly.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
77
c.
All life that we observe today has a membrane.
“All organisms alive today keep their DNA, RNA, and proteins together inside cell membranes. These
oily bubbles prevent big molecules from getting out while letting smaller food molecules in.” – “What
Came Before DNA?,” by Carl Zimmer, DISCOVER Vol. 25 No. 06, June 2004, Biology & Medicine
d.
Membranes are regarded as an absolutely necessary, early step
in any progression toward the origin of life.
“Cell, The evolution of cells, The development of genetic information – At some point in the evolution
of biologic catalysts the first cell was formed. This would have required the partitioning of the
primitive soup of biologic catalysts into individual units, each surrounded by a membrane. Membrane
formation might have occurred quite simply, since many amphiphilic molecules—half hydrophobic (waterhating) and half hydrophilic (water-loving)—aggregate to form bilayer sheets in which the hydrophobic
portions of the molecules line up in rows to form the interior of the sheet and leave the hydrophilic portions
to face the water. Such bilayer sheets can spontaneously close up to form the walls of small, spherical
vesicles, as do the phospholipid bilayer membranes of present-day cells. As soon as the biologic catalysts
became compartmentalized into small individual units, or cells, the units would have begun to compete
with one another for the same ingredients in the surrounding soup. Now the development of variant, but
efficient, catalysts would have served only the cell itself and its progeny, rather than being dissipated
throughout a much larger volume.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
e.
Membranes are so necessary in order for the origin of life to
occur that some evolutionary scientists have advanced what
they call “the membrane first” hypothesis.
“When he returned to Davis, Deamer pursued the membrane first hypothesis, experimenting with
mixtures of three compounds researchers believed existed on the early Earth: fatty acids, glycerol, and
phosphates. In the right concentrations, he found, they formed into lipids, and in turn, the lipids
spontaneously assembled into liposomes.” – “First Cell,” By Carl Zimmer, DISCOVER Vol. 16 No. 11,
November 1995, Biology & Medicine
f.
i. The relegation of membranes as first in the chain of
events, highlights the need for RNA and membranes
to originate and assemble in a coinciding functional
manner that defies probability to the point of
requiring teleology.
Precursors to modern membranes
i. The term “liposome” is a reference to hypothetical
bubble-like structures that have been suggested as
potential precursors of modern membranes.
ii. The reason that these lipid bubbles are believed to be
a potential precursor to modern membranes, is that
modern membranes, although much more
sophisticated, are also comprised of lipids.
“When Deamer began his work on membranes as a graduate student in the early sixties, biologists were just
learning what membranes were made of: thin films of oil composed of molecules called lipids,
tadpolelike things with little heads and long tails. The heads are made of charged groups of atoms, such as
sugars or phosphates, while the tails are long chains of uncharged carbon and hydrogen atoms.” – “First
Cell,” By Carl Zimmer, DISCOVER Vol. 16 No. 11, November 1995, Biology & Medicine
g.
Lipids are also essential for life
i. This is in addition to proteins and nucleic acids and
also membranes.
78
“Protein – complex molecule composed of amino acids and necessary for the chemical processes that
occur in living organisms. Proteins are basic constituents in all living organisms…All known enzymes, for
example, are proteins and may occur in very minute amounts; nevertheless, these substances catalyze all
metabolic reactions, enabling organisms to build up the chemical substances-other proteins, nucleic
acids, carbohydrates, and lipids-that are necessary for life.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe
Edition
h.
Forming membranes and getting pre-biotic compounds into
them
i. Important Questions:
1. How exactly did the liposomes (the simple,
hypothetical bubble-like precursors to
modern membranes) might form?
2. How did the essential pre-biotic molecules
get associated with them and eventually get
inside them?
ii. Lipid Formation
1. The quote below asserts with very little
detail that these liposomes simply form
spontaneously in mixtures of lipids and
water and simply that the chemical reactions
might have taken place on their surface or
inside them.
a. This is just a summary
b. No explanation is given for how
and why these things might occur.
“Life, The origin of life, Modern theories – Scientists have developed three major theories to explain
the transition from early organic molecules to living cells. All three theories are based on the idea that
the simple organic compounds formed more complex ones, which then gave rise to the structures that make
up cells…A third theory is based on the facts that cell-like structures with membranes will form
spontaneously in mixtures of certain lipids and water and that such structures fold into shells the size
of small cells. This theory claims that the chemical reactions leading to the formation of complex
organic compounds took place inside and on the surface of these shells. Scientists are experimenting to
determine which, if any, of these theories corresponds most closely to the known facts.” – Worldbook,
Contributor: Harold J. Morowitz, Ph.D., Robinson Professor of Biology and Director of Krasnow Institute,
George Mason University.
2.
Discover magazine includes the details
theorizing how these 2 crucial events might
unfold.
a. The origination of liposomes starts
with fatty acids, glycerol, and
phosphates
i. All of which evolutionists
believe existed on the
early earth.
“When he returned to Davis, Deamer pursued the membrane first hypothesis, experimenting with
mixtures of three compounds researchers believed existed on the early Earth: fatty acids, glycerol,
and phosphates. In the right concentrations, he found, they formed into lipids, and in turn, the lipids
spontaneously assembled into liposomes.” – “First Cell,” By Carl Zimmer, DISCOVER Vol. 16 No. 11,
November 1995, Biology & Medicine
b.
79
These elements then form lipids,
which will naturally assemble into
the small “shells” (or liposomes)
mentioned in the Worldbook article
above.
“In the early sixties biophysicist Alec Bangham of the Animal Physiology Institute in Cambridge, England,
made a remarkable discovery about lipids: they can put themselves together. When he extracted lipids
from egg yolks and threw them into water, he found that the lipids would naturally organize
themselves into double-layered bubbles roughly the size of a cell. Bangham’s bubbles soon became
known as liposomes. Deamer was intrigued when he learned of these cellular shells.” – “First Cell,” By
Carl Zimmer, DISCOVER Vol. 16 No. 11, November 1995, Biology & Medicine
iii. Getting the pre-biotic compounds into the
membranes
1. In order to explain the origin of life, you
have to explain how essential pre-biotic
molecules “got encapsulated in a cell.”
“To most who search for life's origins, genes are everything. But as David Deamer keeps reminding them,
without a container for those genes, there can be no life…Part of the definition of life, says David
Deamer, is that it is in a place…For the past 18 years, though, Deamer has been gently reminding his
colleagues that these questions define only part of the puzzle of life. DNA does not float loosely through
the oceans. Life is constrained in a place--or, to be more specific, within a boundary. Life is chemical
interaction, and for that interaction to occur, life’s molecules must be close to one another. Without a
physical boundary of some sort, without a skin, a bark, or a cell membrane, an organism is nothing
more than a diffusing blur of molecules. To explain how the first creature came to be, you have to
explain how its innards got to be distinguished from its surroundings. In other words, you’ve got to
explain how the first single-celled creature got encapsulated in a cell…A cell membrane’s importance
to life is often underappreciated, says Deamer. People say, ‘Well, it’s just a little bag.’ But it’s much
more. It’s the interface between life and everything that’s outside.” – “First Cell,” By Carl Zimmer,
DISCOVER Vol. 16 No. 11, November 1995, Biology & Medicine
2.
To get the necessary pre-biotic compounds
inside these “shells” or liposomes, you have
to…
a. Put them in shallow pools, heated
by the sun until they were fully
dried
b. Then re-hydrate them.
“There are many exotic new ideas these days about where life originated. Some researchers say the
grand event took place around the furnaces of underwater hydrothermal vents; others look in the
spray of ocean bubbles; and still others prefer clay. But Deamer’s choice is tide pools, an idea that harks
back at least as far as Darwin’s warm, still ponds. Twenty years ago researchers showed that the wet and
dry cycles of actual tide pools could bond together several precursors of RNA. It seemed reasonable to
think that these pools could have been the cradle for genetic molecules, and it was likely that liposomes
would have sloshed into the pools as well.” – “First Cell,” By Carl Zimmer, DISCOVER Vol. 16 No. 11,
November 1995, Biology & Medicine
“A short trek inland, in a grove of redwoods, is Deamer’s new lab, where he has been for the past year.
Santa Cruz is a more appropriate setting for his work than the flat farms around Davis; what is happening
down on the beach is much like what Deamer thinks happened at the dawn of life. He [Deamer] opens
a jar of lipids, extracted from egg yolk, and mixes some of the clear oil into a small test tube of water. To
the naked eye the water seems unchanged, except that it has taken on a slightly milky quality; in actuality
it is now full of microscopic bilayered bubbles. Deamer extracts a few drops from the mixture and puts
them on a glass slide…Why don’t we get the hot plate going?...That’s our tide pool, Deamer says,
nodding toward the hot plate. Imagine a primitive sun beaming down on that. We’re going to let it
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dry down…After a few minutes of primordial heat, the lipids and DNA on the slide have dried into a
thin film. Deamer fills his tide pool again by adding a few drops of water…Looking through the
eyepieces, you can see lipids squirting out from the dried film into the surrounding water. At first they
writhe like snakes; gradually they swell into bubbles. Some of them are dim, but others glow with the
intense fluorescent green dye attached to the DNA. The glow is clear proof that as the planes of lipids
curled up into vesicles, the DNA that had been sandwiched in between them got trapped inside.” – By
Carl Zimmer, DISCOVER Vol. 16 No. 11, November 1995, Biology & Medicine
“There are many exotic new ideas these days about where life originated. Some researchers say the grand
event took place around the furnaces of underwater hydrothermal vents; others look in the spray of ocean
bubbles; and still others prefer clay. But Deamer’s choice is tide pools, an idea that harks back at least as
far as Darwin’s warm, still ponds. Twenty years ago researchers showed that the wet and dry cycles of
actual tide pools could bond together several precursors of RNA. It seemed reasonable to think that
these pools could have been the cradle for genetic molecules, and it was likely that liposomes would
have sloshed into the pools as well. All this organic stuff is accumulating on early beaches, Deamer says,
and the sun is heating and drying it, and lots of natural experiments are taking place that I’m trying
to re-create in the laboratory.” – By Carl Zimmer, DISCOVER Vol. 16 No. 11, November 1995, Biology
& Medicine
i.
Problems with the membrane-development scenario, which in
turn leaves the ultraviolet scenario without a working solution.
i. Evolutionary scientists question the viability of the
“dry heating and return to solution” for forming
amino acids and placing them into membranes
“Life, The origin of life, Production of polymers – Dehydrating agents must be used to initiate
polymerization. The polymerization of amino acids to form long protein-like molecules was
accomplished through dry heating by a U.S. investigator, S.W. Fox. The polyamino acids that are
formed are not random polymers and have some distinct catalytic activities. The geophysical generality of
dry heating and return to solution, however, has been questioned.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004
Deluxe Edition
ii. Even when these questionable re-hydrating
techniques were used to get RNA inside the
liposomes, the RNA doesn’t and “can’t do anything”
but simply “fills up” the entire “primitive
membrane.”
“The researchers began by forming liposomes out of 14-carbon lipids and used Deamer’s tide pool
method to capture an enzyme known as an RNA polymerase. In modern cells this enzyme grabs
nucleotides and puts them together into RNA. Four nucleotides are needed to make real RNA, but for
simplicity’s sake, Deamer and his co-workers used only one…The liposomes had indeed allowed
nucleotides to enter through their pores, and the polymerase had assembled them into RNA. The
researchers thus showed that primordial liposomes forming in tide pools could have performed some
essential cellular tricks…As an analogy to early life, their quasi cell has obvious limits, Deamer and
Chakrabarti know. It builds simplified RNA, using only one nucleotide rather than the full
complement of four, and once the RNA is produced, it can’t do anything--it simply fills up the
liposome.” – By Carl Zimmer, DISCOVER Vol. 16 No. 11, November 1995, Biology & Medicine
iii. Even total success in these experiments would still be
a long way from the origin of life because essential
parts of the process remain without explanation,
including…
1. How growth and division are managed.
2. A much fuller model for exactly how energy
is utilized in this process.
81
iv. Scientists have to simplify the process in order to
make it work.
1. They use only one single nucleotide as
opposed to the usual four required in all
observed life.
a. Using only one nucleotide, the
experiment doesn’t address the
prohibitive improbabilities of…
i. Life originating without
foresight using all four
nucleotides
ii. Each originating on its
own
iii. All four being available at
the same place and time.
v. These experiments use “rare,” specially selected
liposomes with smaller 14-carbon-long tails NOT the
lipids found in modern cells that are have tails “16 to
18 carbon atoms long”
1. The scientists selected lipids with tails from
10 to 14 carbon atoms long even though tails
of 12 or less carbon atoms are never found
in observed cells and tails of 14 carbon
atoms are “rare.”
2. They select liposomes with tails 14-carbon
atoms long because other sizes don’t allow
the process to work.
“One big problem was that these early membranes would simply have been too good at separating
what they enclosed from the environment outside. A cell needs to pull in ions and toss them out all the
time, so it overcomes its membrane’s impermeability with intricate channels, pumps, and shuttles.
Swallowed by a liposome, a primitive genetic molecule would have been unequipped to manufacture
channels through the membrane. The liposome would not be a shelter but a prison--or at least, so it
seemed. People think that membranes are permeable to nutrients and ions only if you put a channel through
them, says Deamer. That’s the end of the story, because that’s the way it’s brought up in textbooks. But he
has recently discovered that the textbooks are wrong. Modern cells contain lipids with tails 16 to 18
carbon atoms long, with the rare 14-carbon tail appearing in some microbes. Tails with 12 or fewer
atoms don’t appear in any cell membranes, anywhere. To determine the effect of tail length on
permeability, Deamer prepared lipids with a range of tails and tried to make liposomes with them. By
measuring how well they could trap charged dye molecules, he could measure their impermeability. Short
tails, he found, couldn’t form bilayers at all; the best they could manage were little clumps of
particles. Lipids with tails of at least 16 atoms, on the other hand, formed tightly sealed liposomes
that held their dye stubbornly. However, tails with 10 to 14 atoms could also form liposomes, though
they were leaky…In 1992, Chakrabarti managed to slip amino acids, which are three times bigger than
potassium, through the leaky membrane. Perhaps, the researchers speculated, the earliest
membranes were made of such short-tailed lipids; then, once the first cells had the genetic machinery
up and running to make protein channels, they could make lipids with longer tails for better
insulation without starving themselves.” – By Carl Zimmer, DISCOVER Vol. 16 No. 11, November
1995, Biology & Medicine
3.
4.
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Lipids with short tails (apparently less than
10 carbon atoms long) don’t form liposomes
or bubbles at all.
Lipids with tails of 16 carbon atoms or
longer, such as found in modern cells,
formed liposomes with that were so tightly
sealed that they prevented the experimental
chemicals from getting either in or out.
5. This kind of contemplative selection
process, which was necessary in order to
guarantee functionality, is equivalent to
employing foresight during the experiment.
a. It completely countermands any
attempt to demonstrate the origin of
life through automatic, routine
processes that occur without
foresight.
vi. The initial chemical reactions necessary to transform
basic pre-biotic compounds in a forward process
toward life are “highly unstable” and would require
“aid” from catalysts to keep them from
“spontaneously degrading.”
“As the basic molecules of life move from space to a planetary environment, they begin to interact and
undergo chemical reactions that produce larger and more complicated molecules. These larger
molecules will ultimately become the building blocks of the earliest life-forms. The initial chemical
reactions are highly unstable and require the aid of minerals to keep the newly formed organic
building blocks from spontaneously degrading. Steven Benner, a biochemist at the University of Florida,
theorizes that minerals containing borate may have acted as a catalyst in “stabilizing and guiding” these
vital chemical processes.” – “What Came Before DNA?,” by Carl Zimmer, DISCOVER Vol. 25 No. 06,
June 2004, Biology & Medicine
1.
Not only would RNA and all 4 nucleotides
have to make it inside the membrane
2. But also these hypothetical “minerals”
necessary to keep the initial chemical
reactions inside the liposome from
“spontaneously degrading.”
vii. The most significant barrier to the membranedevelopment scenario – location
1. To get the necessary pre-biotic compounds
inside these “shells” or liposomes, you have
to put them in shallow pools, heated by the
sun until they were fully dried, then rehydrate them.
2. The pools must be shallow, because they
have to frequently dry up and then rehydrate in order to get RNA trapped inside
the liposome bubble.
3. Remember, the membrane-development
scenario is necessary in order to make the
ultraviolet scenario work by providing
protection from oxygen that would prohibit
the origination of life.
a. However, the ultraviolet light itself
would destroy the pre-biotic
compounds if they were too near
the water’s surface
b. To protect from the UV light the
process would have to take place
“some tens of meters” deep.
83
c.
j.
Without protection by dozens of
meters of water, ultraviolet light
will eradicate any potential
progression toward life.
4. In attempting to provide the ultraviolet light
scenario with the necessary protection from
oxygen (by means of a membrane), the
membrane-development scenario requires a
shallow environment (to get the organic
material inside the membrane)
a. This results in direct exposure to
destructive ultraviolet light.
b. Evolutionary theory as a whole has
no explanation for how to avoid
both prohibitive damage by
ultraviolet light and oxygen at the
same time in a single scenario.
Difficulties with the membrane scenario
i. The membrane-development scenario is necessary for
the ultraviolet light scenario to avoid failure due to
the presence of oxygen.
ii. Re-hyrdradition is needed to get the pre-biotic
compounds into the membrane, however, rehydration is questioned by some scientists as
damaging the compounds.
iii. The chemical compounds involved have been highly
simplified and specially designed and selected for
functionality.
1. This incorporates teleology and nullifies
automatic, routine processes as the
mechanisms.
iv. The high degree of simplification avoids addressing
the enormous improbabilities of life originating
without foresight in a real scenario that accurately
reflects what we actually observe all around us in
nature.
v. Even when the simplified RNA enters into the
specially selected liposome, it can’t do anything
further along the progression toward life but simply
fills up the space.
vi. The minerals necessary to keep the unstable, complex
chemical reactions inside the liposome from
degrading are still missing.
vii. The shallow water setting required to get pre-biotic
compounds into the membrane robs the entire process
of necessary protection from lethal ultraviolet
radiation that prevents the origination of life.
viii. The coinciding origin and assembly of a membrane
and a self-replicating, catalytic precursor, such as
some hypothetical form of RNA, likewise defies
probability to the point of indicating teleology and
foresight.
1. This is in addition to the improbability of the
coinciding origin of proteins and DNA or all
four base pairs functionally ready to interact
with one another.
84
vi. Conclusions about Evolution Theory on the Origin of Life on Earth: Energy and
Safety, a Suitable Environment
1. Evolutionary theory as it currently stands does not have a working
scenario for how automatic, routine processes proceeding without
foresight could result in the origin of life.
a. A lack of time for life to originate
i. Life-prohibiting meteorite and cometary
bombardment of the earth at the exact timeframe
when life would have to originate on earth creates a
lack of time for life to originate at any point in the
known history of the earth.
“That’s worried people for the last 10 to 15 years, says Christopher Chyba, a planetary scientist based at
NASA’s Ames Research Center, south of San Francisco. There seems to be a contradiction between the
fact that we’re here and evidence that early Earth was not very hospitable to the formation of
organics. How do you resolve the dilemma?” – How Did Life Start?, by Peter Radetsky, DISCOVER,
Vol. 13 No. 11, November 1992, Biology & Medicine
b.
2.
The lack of any feasible environment in which life could
originate
i. Obstacles involving the need for energy as well as
safety from other prohibitive factors create an
additional chicken-and-egg scenario
ii. Items like ultraviolet light or oxygen have to be both
present and cannot be present, in order for life to
originate.
c. Lack of identifiable, observable, empirically detected,
experiementally verified mechanisms for producing
irreducibly complex, functionally interdependent cell
components.
i. Obstacles involving the functional interdependence
among cell components such as RNA, DNA,
proteins, enzymes, ribosomes, carbohydrates, fats,
and membranes create an irreducible complexity and
a lack of the simplicity necessary for items to slowly
evolve from basic chemicals to sophisticated,
interacting, chemical systems.
d. Defying Probability and Implying Foresight
i. Resolving the “energy and safety environmental”
chicken-and-egg dilemma as well as the
interdependent cell component chicken-and-egg
dilemma at just the right time, just when hostile
meteoric conditions were subsiding, creates a
situation that inherently requires coinciding events
that defy probability and display the foresight and
purposeful coordination of teleology.
These facts have been established using secular sources, evolutionary
scientists, and mainstream scientific magazines.
a. Even Stanley Miller himself asserted that simply no one
knows how the first self-replicating system could have
originated, no matter what energy source or environment they
are utilizing.
“When Miller analyzed the brew, he found that it contained amino acids, the building blocks of
protein. The lightning had reorganized the molecules in the atmosphere to produce organic
compounds…People were stunned. Articles appeared in major newspapers across the country…Thus
85
emerged the picture that has dominated origin-of-life scenarios. Some 4 billion years ago, lightning (or
another energy source, like ultraviolet light or heat) stimulated a hydrogen-rich atmosphere to produce
organic compounds, which then rained down into the primitive ocean or other suitable bodies of water such
as lakes, rivers, or even a warm little pond, as Charles Darwin once suggested. Once there, these simple
compounds, or monomers, combined with one another to produce more complicated organics, or polymers,
which gradually grew even more complex until they coalesced into the beginnings of self-replicating
RNA. With that came the RNA world and ultimately the evolution into cells and the early bacterial
ancestors of life. The picture is powerful and appealing, but not all origin-of-life researchers are
convinced. Even Miller throws up his hands at certain aspects of it. The first step, making the
monomers, that’s easy. We understand it pretty well. But then you have to make the first self- replicating
polymers. That’s very easy, he says, the sarcasm fairly dripping. Just like it’s easy to make money in
the stock market--all you have to do is buy low and sell high. He laughs. Nobody knows how it’s
done. Some would say the statement applies as well to the first easy step, the creation of simple
organic compounds.” – “How Did Life Start?,” by Peter Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11,
November 1992, Biology & Medicine
3.
Consequently, our definition of evolutionary theory on the issue of the
origin of life is not a biased description.
a. It is entirely accurate to describe the evolutionary theory for
the origin of life in the following terms:
4) Various theoretical scenarios are offered for the origin of life. And although each individual scenario is
acknowledged to be insufficient due to environmental prohibitions involving chemicals and energy sources,
the known geologic history of the earth, and statistical improbabilities particularly those surrounding the
arrival of cellular systems that are currently irreducibly functionally interdependent, the origin of life is
asserted to be the result of automatic, routine processes, in a yet unobserved environment perhaps even
occurring on another planet at an unknown time in the past when conditions and time allotments would be
ideal.
F. Evolution on the Origin of Life: Relocating the Origin of Life to another Planet
i. The origin of life without foresight is sometimes regarded as a highly unlikely or
improbable event by evolutionary scientists themselves.
ii. Because the factors outlined above and the improbabilities that they create are so
well-recognized, evolutionary scientists relocate the origin of life to some other
planet besides earth.
1. While evolutionary scientists assert the theory of life originating on
another planet, they also demonstrate it to be unfeasible.
iii. The improbability of the origin of life by automatic, routine processes.
1. Discover magazine and Britannica Encyclopedia on the improbability
of the origin of life by automatic, routine processes.
“The origin of life depended on all sorts of accidental circumstances. Proving how it happened will take
another piece of luck.” – “How Did Life Start?,” by Peter Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11,
November 1992, Biology & Medicine
“Life, The origin of life, Hypotheses of origins – Most of the hypotheses of the origin of life will fall into
one of four categories: …[4] Life arose on the early Earth by a series of progressive chemical reactions.
Such reactions may have been likely or may have required one or more highly improbable chemical
events.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
2.
Even if an RNA molecule came about that was capable of selfreplication, without the right “circumstances” (energy, components,
environment) and “a long time” even this “chance combination”
necessary to produce this RNA world “simply is not tenable.”
86
"The Beginnings of Life on Earth, Origin and Evolution of the RNA World – On the other hand, it is
also surprising since these must have been sturdy reactions to sustain the RNA world for a long time.
Contrary to what is sometimes intimated, the idea of a few RNA molecules coming together by some
chance combination of circumstances and henceforth being reproduced and amplified by replication
simply is not tenable. There could be no replication without a robust chemical underpinning continuing to
provide the necessary materials and energy. The development of RNA replication must have been the
second stage in the evolution of the RNA world. The problem is not as simple as might appear at first
glance. Attempts at engineering--with considerably more foresight and technical support than the
prebiotic world could have enjoyed--an RNA molecule capable of catalyzing RNA replication have
failed so far." – “The Beginnings of Life on Earth,” Christian de Duve, American Scientist, SeptemberOctober 1995
a.
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines “tenable” as
“capable of being held, maintained, or defended” and
“reasonable.”
"Tenable – Function: adjective: capable of being held, maintained, or defended: defensible, reasonable."
- Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary
b.
c.
d.
The “chances” for an RNA first theory are so improbable that
this theory is not able to be “held, maintained, or defended”
without “a lot of time” in the right environment with the right
components and sufficient energy.
The occurrence of even one step toward the origin of life, the
arrival of a molecule capable of self-replication, is so
improbable that attempts to recreate this event in the lab using
automatic, routine processes have failed even while employing
“considerable amounts of foresight.”
The improbability of the origin of life by stating that there had
to be “billions of unsuccessful” attempts for life to originate
before life actually occurred.
“Cell, The evolution of cells – It is highly unlikely that scientists will ever re-create the crucial
“experiment” that led to the origin of life. Billions of unsuccessful experiments must have been
carried out in countless ponds and marshes before life first evolved, and these experiments lasted for
hundreds of millions of years. During this period, conditions on Earth were different from those
today.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
3.
Billions of failures for even 1 successful attempt creates a probability
of billions to 1.
a. Events with odds of a billion to 1 are admittedly
“impossibilities” according to evolutionary scientists.
b. When commenting on the possibility of life originating in
another galaxy and then migrating to earth, Discover magazine
refers to the odds of such an event as “one in a billion,” a
probability which is quickly characterizes by saying, “Given
those odds, the probability is virtually nil.”
“Still, migrating microbes face significant obstacles. Until recently, no researchers had evaluated every
stage of the scenario. Then a Swedish scientist rounded up a team to do just that…They soon found that
panspermia seems viable only within our own solar system. One hitch in the old theory, he explains,
was that interstellar nomads would face lethal radiation from cosmic rays, which strike far more
frequently beyond the sun's magnetic shield. Even more important, Mileikowsky's team has calculated
the probability of ejected planetary material reaching Earth from elsewhere in the Milky Way or
from another galaxy. ‘It is one in a billion,’ says Mileikowsky. Given those odds, the probability is
virtually nil that even one ejecta from the galaxy with still-viable microorganisms on board could
87
have arrived on Earth during its first 500 million years. So Mileikowsky concludes, ‘Our ancestor cell
must have been created within our own planetary system or in a nearby sister system born at the
same time.’” – “Did Life on Earth Come From Mars?,” by Robert Irion, DISCOVER, Vol. 22 No. 08,
August 2001
c.
4.
When evolutionists admit that the probability of life
originating on earth by automatic, routine processes is a
billion to 1, they are…
i. affirming its virtual impossibility
ii. placing it within an improbability range that,
effectively, necessitates intelligent foresight.
Britannica denotes that the origin of life on earth would require
countless attempts lasting “hundreds of millions of years” and “under
conditions” that “were different” than the modern earth.
“Cell, The evolution of cells – It is highly unlikely that scientists will ever re-create the crucial
“experiment” that led to the origin of life. Billions of unsuccessful experiments must have been
carried out in countless ponds and marshes before life first evolved, and these experiments lasted for
hundreds of millions of years. During this period, conditions on Earth were different from those
today.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
a.
5.
The different conditions relate to the reasons for suggesting a
more ideal environment on another planet.
b. The basis for both suggestions is the same:
i. The known environment on earth throughout its
history provides significant obstacles to the origin of
life by automatic, routine processes.
The timeframe of hundreds of millions of years for the unsuccessful
attempts at life to eventually succeed is a crucial limiting factor.
a. In evolutionary geological terms hundreds of millions of years
isn’t much time.
b. For example, consider the following quotations concerning
Jupiter.
“Life, Extraterrestrial life, Venus and the superior planets – A similar speculation can be entertained
with regard to the lower clouds of Jupiter. On Jupiter the atmosphere is composed of hydrogen, helium,
methane, ammonia, and probably neon and water vapour. But these are exactly those gases used in
primitive-Earth simulation experiments directed toward the origin of life…There is also an apparent
absorption feature near 2,600 Å, in the ultraviolet spectrum of Jupiter, which has been attributed both to
aromatic hydrocarbons and to nucleotide bases. In any event it is likely that organic molecules are
being produced in significant yield on Jupiter; it is possible that Jupiter is a vast planetary
laboratory that has been operating for 5,000,000,000 years on prebiological organic chemistry.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Jupiter, The outer layers, The atmosphere, Other likely atmospheric constituents –
The initial chemical processes leading to the formation of living organisms on the Earth may have
occurred in transient microenvironments that resembled the present chemical composition of
Jupiter—without the enormous amount of hydrogen and helium. The active Jovian cloud system is
known to be a source of lightning discharges, while solar ultraviolet radiation, precipitation of
charged particles, and the internal energy of the planet are also available to drive chemical reactions
in the Jovian atmosphere. Thus, Jupiter may well represent an enormous natural laboratory in which
the initial steps toward the origin of life are being pursued again and again. – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
88
i. Jupiter’s atmosphere is considered to be similar to
that of the primitive earth at the time that life would
have had to originate on earth.
ii. Jupiter is considered to have similar energy sources
to fuel the origination of life.
iii. The phrase “likely that organic molecules are being
produced in significant yield on Jupiter” indicates
that Jupiter is considered to have critical pre-biotic
compounds such as “nucleotide bases” in enough
quantities to mark a notable “absorption” feature in
its enormous atmosphere.
c. Despite these similarities and perhaps as much as 4 billion
years more time, Jupiter’s similar conditions are said to be…
i. stuck.
ii. “the initial steps toward the origin of life are being
pursued again and again” but without success
iii. Jupiter has remained in a “prebiological” stage for its
entire 5 billion year existence.
d. Jupiter defines the odds
i. If we assume only 1 chance at the origin of life taking
place every year in the presence of nucleotide bases
and similar atmospheric conditions, that would be
literally near 4 or 5 billion failed chances for life to
emerge on Jupiter.
ii. If we assume 10 chances a year, that’s 40 or 50
billion failed chances for life.
iii. However, the article makes it sound as though these
conditions are a frequent and ongoing aspect of
Jupiter’s enormous atmosphere.
1. It is implied that these chances for life are
occurring all the time all over the
atmosphere of Jupiter
2. This would result in literally trillions of
failed attempts at life.
iv. The example from Jupiter gives us some insight into why evolutionists consider
the “hundreds of millions of years” of time available for life on earth to be “too
short” – reasons include:
1. The complexities and obstacles outlined above for the origination of
life on earth.
2. These complexities and improbabilities are usually offset by the
inclusion of additional time, which provides additional opportunities,
thus reducing improbability.
v. $$$$ Due to the short time period available on earth, some evolutionists that life
originated on earth by being transported here after first originating on some
other planet where there was more time and fewer obstacles.
“That’s worried people for the last 10 to 15 years, says Christopher Chyba, a planetary scientist based at
NASA’s Ames Research Center, south of San Francisco. There seems to be a contradiction between the
fact that we’re here and evidence that early Earth was not very hospitable to the formation of
organics. How do you resolve the dilemma? One way is to take advantage of the fact that asteroids
and especially comets are rich in organic compounds. Maybe there was a way that those organics
reached early Earth intact. In other words, maybe the beginnings of life came from interstellar space.”
– “How Did Life Start?,” by Peter Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11, November 1992, Biology &
Medicine
89
“At this point in Friedmann’s conjectures, another planet--Mars, of all places--becomes convenient
for completing the tale. Indirect evidence for life on Earth (organic compounds preserved in rocks,
produced only by life) goes back at least 3.8 billion years. Yet life could not have appeared on the
planet’s surface, most agree, before about 4 billion years ago, when heavy meteorite showers were
still vaporizing the oceans. As proof for the existence of full-blown cellular life keeps pushing closer
to 4 billion years, evolutionary biologists wonder if there was enough time for such life to arise from
basic organic molecules. Perhaps life only arrived on the surface of Earth after it originated
somewhere else. It’s been suggested that it started deep in Earth, where it is still abundant, and later moved
up to the surface. Another suggestion, which Friedmann favors, is that it arrived ready-made from
another planet. Mars is smaller than Earth and farther from the sun. Therefore Mars cooled down earlier.
Probably the conditions suitable for life to arise happened earlier on Mars than on Earth, says
Friedmann. And because the gravity of Mars is weaker than Earth’s, it is much easier for something
to travel from Mars to Earth than the other way--something like a meteor, chipped off the surface. So if
we assume that life originated on Mars and came to Earth, Friedmann continues, then we gain more
time to explain the origin of life.” – “Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places,” by Will Hively,
DISCOVER, Vol. 18 No. 05, May 1997, Astronomy & Physics
1.
Benefits to relocating life’s origin to another planet.
a. Additional time
b. Conditions favorable to pre-biotic chemistry – a hospitable
environment
i. “successful” experiments using conditions
incompatible with earth’s early history (such as the
Miller-Urey experiment), remain relevantly insightful
for the origin of life if we assume those favorable
conditions, were present on another world – planet x.
“The first hints that this might be so came from the laboratory, before evidence for it was found in space,
through the historic experiments of Stanley Miller, now recalled in science textbooks…Although the
primitive atmosphere is no longer believed to be as rich in hydrogen as once thought by Urey, the
discovery that the Murchison meteorite contains the same amino acids obtained by Miller, and even
in the same relative proportions, suggests strongly that his results are relevant.” – “The Beginnings of
Life on Earth,” Christian de Duve, American Scientist, September-October 1995
vi. Relocating life’s origin to another planet is not a “fringe” theory
1. The theory of relocating the origin of life to another world has been put
forward by prominent scientists in the evolutionist camp such as Carl
Sagan, Francis Crick, and Fred Hoyle.
“Elsewhere, Chyba is collaborating with Carl Sagan and others in an attempt to nail down the
possible link between extraterrestrial objects and the origin of life.” – “How Did Life Start?,” by Peter
Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11, November 1992, Biology & Medicine
“On the other hand, it is believed that our young planet, still in the throes of volcanic eruptions and
battered by falling comets and asteroids, remained inhospitable to life for about half a billion years
after its birth, together with the rest of the solar system, some 4.55 billion years ago. This leaves a
window of perhaps 200-300 million years for the appearance of life on earth. This duration was once
considered too short for the emergence of something as complex as a living cell. Hence suggestions were
made that germs of life may have come to earth from outer space with cometary dust or even, as
proposed by Francis Crick of DNA double-helix fame, on a spaceship sent out by some distant
civilization.” – “The Beginnings of Life on Earth,” Christian de Duve, American Scientist, SeptemberOctober 1995
“Bacterial Evangelists – The eminent British astronomer Fred Hoyle and his former student
astrophysicist Chandra Wickramasinghe of the Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology in Wales promote a
far-reaching— and, to most scientists, far-fetched— view of panspermia. They believe that microbes
90
migrate within comets and their dusty remnants.” – “Did Life on Earth Come From Mars?,” by Robert
Irion, DISCOVER, Vol. 22 No. 08, August 2001
vii. The theory that life on earth came here from another planet or place in the
universe is called “panspermia.”
“The idea of life vagabonding through the cosmos has been around for millennia, but scientists first
considered it seriously in the mid-19th century. In 1871, British physicist William Thomson Kelvin
told his colleagues in Edinburgh: ‘We must regard it as probable in the highest degree that there are
countless seed-bearing meteoritic stones moving about through space. If at the present instant no life
existed upon this earth, one such stone falling upon it might . . . lead to its becoming covered with
vegetation.’ Three decades later, Swedish chemist and Nobel laureate Svante Arrhenius agreed, but he
took issue with part of Kelvin's scenario. The fiery trauma of a meteoroid ejected from a planet or
out of the solar system, he argued, would incinerate any cells it harbored. Instead of hitching rides
within rocks, Arrhenius said, life could travel unaided. In 1903, he proposed that spores of plants and
germs might drift through space propelled by the gentle pressure of starlight. He called this idea
panspermia (from the Greek for ‘seeds everywhere’).” – “Did Life on Earth Come From Mars?,” by
Robert Irion, DISCOVER, Vol. 22 No. 08, August 2001
“When astronomers later grasped the true distances between stars and the vast size of the Milky Way,
panspermia fell out of favor…Now panspermia is gaining credence again, but with more caveats.
Planetary geologist Jeffrey Moore of the NASA Ames Research Center says that if panspermia simply
means exchanges of life among bodies in our solar system, Kelvin's ‘seed-bearing meteoritic stones’
could be spot on. ‘Panspermia redefined is perceived as reasonable by virtually everybody,’ Moore
explains. ‘Say you have several places in the solar system where organisms could multiply. Once one gets
it, all the planets and moons with suitable environments come down with life. It's the day-care effect. They
infect each other.’ The inner solar system, he adds, with its friendly temperatures and hard surfaces, is the
most likely place for such exchanges.” – “Did Life on Earth Come From Mars?,” by Robert Irion,
DISCOVER, Vol. 22 No. 08, August 2001
“Life, The origin of life, Hypotheses of origins – Perhaps the most fundamental and at the same time the
least understood biological problem is the origin of life. It is central to many scientific and philosophical
problems and to any consideration of extraterrestrial life. Most of the hypotheses of the origin of life will
fall into one of four categories: [1] The origin of life is a result of a supernatural event; that is, one
permanently beyond the descriptive powers of physics and chemistry. [2] Life-particularly simple formsspontaneously and readily arises from nonliving matter in short periods of time, today as in the past. [3]
Life is coeternal with matter and has no beginning; life arrived on the Earth at the time of the origin of
the earth or shortly thereafter. [4] Life arose on the early Earth by a series of progressive chemical
reactions. Such reactions may have been likely or may have required one or more highly improbable
chemical events…Toward the end of the 19th century Hypothesis 3 gained currency, particularly with
the suggestion by a Swedish chemist, S.A. Arrhenius, that life on Earth arose from panspermia,
microorganisms or spores wafted through space by radiation pressure from planet to planet or solar
system to solar system. Such an idea of course avoids rather than solves the problem of the origin of
life. In addition, it is extremely unlikely that any microorganism could be transported by radiation
pressure to the Earth over interstellar distances without being killed by the combined effects of cold,
vacuum, and radiation.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
1.
Panspermia includes under the heading of “Modern theories” and a
“major theory of the origin of life,” right alongside “chemical
evolution.”
a. Here panspermia is described more generally as spores
landing on earth from some other part of the universe, without
stipulating how they traveled.
“Life, The origin of life, Modern theories – Scientists think that life probably arose on Earth more
than 3 1/2 billion years ago, and so they cannot base their understanding of that event on direct
91
observation. As a result, their understanding of how life began is far less certain than their
knowledge of such subjects as cell structure and biochemistry. Scientists construct explanations of
the origin of life. They base their explanations on their knowledge of living things and on their
understanding of the early physical conditions on Earth. Scientists have proposed two major theories of
the origin of life. They are (1) the theory of panspermia and (2) the theory of chemical evolution. The
theory of panspermia states that spores from some other part of the universe landed on Earth and
began to develop. However, some scientists doubt that spores could survive a journey through the
harsh conditions of outer space. Even if the theory is true, it explains only the origin of life on Earth
and not how life arose in the universe.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Harold J. Morowitz, Ph.D., Robinson
Professor of Biology and Director of Krasnow Institute, George Mason University.
viii. Panspermia “avoids rather than solves the problem of the origin of life”
explaining “only the origin of life on Earth” and not “how life arose in the
universe.”
1. So, even if life traveled to earth from somewhere else, it would still be
necessary to understand how it originated originally.
2. This fact is also attested to in the following quotes from American
Scientist and Discover magazines.
“Even if life came from elsewhere, we would still have to account for its first development. Thus we
might as well assume that life started on earth.” – “The Beginnings of Life on Earth,” Christian de Duve,
American Scientist, September-October 1995
“Knowing that some microbes easily hopscotched from planet to planet doesn't necessarily bring us
any closer to pinpointing the fountainhead of life.” – “Did Life on Earth Come From Mars?, by Robert
Irion,” DISCOVER, Vol. 22 No. 08, August 2001
ix. The possibility of panspermia is doubted by some scientists due to the harsh
conditions of traveling through space – (as many of the quotes above state)
1. (The quote below also indicates that this idea has been resisted, even
previously by the author himself.)
“There is little doubt in my mind that our oceans and our atmosphere were delivered on the backs of
comets that bombarded the newly formed Earth in its first few hundred million years. What is more,
the comets also appear to have brought prebiotic molecules—organic building blocks that could be
used to get life started. These ideas have a fairly long history but have been resisted for various reasons
over the decades. I have been studying the chemistry of comets for more than 50 years, and I admit that
early in my career I too was reluctant to accept the possibility that comets had played such a crucial
role in our planet’s history. But the evidence has continued to accumulate over the decades, and it now
seems irrefutable. Here I provide an overview of the reasoning behind this extraordinary idea.” – An
Argument for the Cometary Origin of the Biosphere, Armand H. Delsemme, American Scientists, Volume
89, 2004
2.
Panspermia fell out of favor historically and remained so into recent
times due to the improbability of organic molecules surviving travel
through space.
“When astronomers later grasped the true distances between stars and the vast size of the Milky Way,
panspermia fell out of favor…Now panspermia is gaining credence again, but with more caveats.” –
“Did Life on Earth Come From Mars?,” by Robert Irion, DISCOVER, Vol. 22 No. 08, August 2001
“Life, The origin of life, Hypotheses of origins – Perhaps the most fundamental and at the same time the
least understood biological problem is the origin of life…Most of the hypotheses of the origin of life
will fall into one of four categories: …[3] Life is coeternal with matter and has no beginning; life arrived
on the Earth at the time of the origin of the earth or shortly thereafter…In addition, it is extremely
unlikely that any microorganism could be transported by radiation pressure to the Earth over
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interstellar distances without being killed by the combined effects of cold, vacuum, and radiation.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Life, The origin of life, Modern theories – Scientists have proposed two major theories of the origin
of life. They are (1) the theory of panspermia and (2) the theory of chemical evolution. The theory of
panspermia states that spores from some other part of the universe landed on Earth and began to
develop. However, some scientists doubt that spores could survive a journey through the harsh
conditions of outer space.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Harold J. Morowitz, Ph.D., Robinson Professor of
Biology and Director of Krasnow Institute, George Mason University.
3.
Despite former rejections and the improbabilities involved, the idea of
panspermia is gaining some acceptance now.
a. The reason it is gaining acceptance now is because the
geological history of earth is proving to be so prohibitive to
the origin of life
b. Panspermia becomes the only remaining alternative for
evolutionary theory.
x. Panspermia has gained popular acceptance within the evolutionary community
today
1. The sheer number of quotes below from American Scientist, Discover,
and even Microsoft Encarta are intended to demonstrate the extent to
which panspermia has gained popular acceptance within the
evolutionary community.
“The Primeval Biosphere, Figure 11. The primeval biosphere awoke to a tempestuous world of
intermittent comet impacts, a steaming-hot ocean, a very thick atmosphere and torrential acid rains.
Giant comet impacts would have ejected large amounts of material into space and spun off violent
hurricanes and tornadoes…Prebiotic organic molecules, delivered by the comets, would have
provided the ‘seed’ for the evolution of the first life.” – “An Argument for the Cometary Origin of the
Biosphere,” Armand H. Delsemme, American Scientist, Volume 89, 2004
“Geological Germination – As the basic molecules of life move from space to a planetary
environment, they begin to interact and undergo chemical reactions that produce larger and more
complicated molecules. These larger molecules will ultimately become the building blocks of the
earliest life-forms.” – “What Came Before DNA?,” by Carl Zimmer, DISCOVER Vol. 25 No. 06, June
2004, Biology & Medicine
“Chunks of planets were flying all over the place when the solar system was young— and some may
have carried hitchhikers…Microbiologists Rocco Mancinelli and Lynn Rothschild have a thing for salt.
Jagged hunks of it crowd the shelves of the couple's offices at the NASA Ames Research Center in
Mountain View, California. Their favorite pieces are laced with translucent reds and greens that look like
algae in a neglected pool. These crystals harbor colonies of hardy, salt-loving microbes called halophiles,
a class of bacteria that can thrive in very nasty settings. So impressive are the survival skills of these
single-celled organisms that Mancinelli and Rothschild suspect the microbes might be able to survive
long journeys through the vacuum and radiation of space. And that possibility, in turn, could help
explain how life began on Earth. So impressive are the survival skills of these single-celled organisms
that Mancinelli and Rothschild suspect the microbes might be able to survive long journeys through
the vacuum and radiation of space. And that possibility, in turn, could help explain how life began on
Earth.” – “Did Life on Earth Come From Mars?,” by Robert Irion, DISCOVER, Vol. 22 No. 08, August
2001
“Mancinelli and Rothschild belong to a cadre of researchers who are reviving an old idea that seems
straight out of science fiction: Organisms might have hopped from planet to planet, spreading life far
beyond their birthplace. The scenario is simple. When our solar system was young, comets and asteroids
crashed into planets and moons, which blasted surface rocks back out into space (a few such impacts still
happen today). If the space-bound rocks harbored lifeforms, they might migrate to other planets.
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Recent lab tests suggest that bacteria can withstand the shocks of such blasts. And decent-sized rocks could
shield the ejected cells from radiation in space. What's more, some studies suggest that sheltered
microbes can survive tens or hundreds of millions of years of dormancy, plenty of time to drift to a
new home. Add it all up and you've got a case that life could have drifted to Earth from someplace like
Mars.” – “Did Life on Earth Come From Mars?,” by Robert Irion, DISCOVER, Vol. 22 No. 08, August
2001
“Advanced forms of life existed on earth at least 3.55 billion years ago. In rocks of that age, fossilized
imprints have been found of bacteria that look uncannily like cyanobacteria, the most highly evolved
photosynthetic organisms present in the world today…On the other hand, it is believed that our young
planet, still in the throes of volcanic eruptions and battered by falling comets and asteroids, remained
inhospitable to life for about half a billion years after its birth, together with the rest of the solar
system, some 4.55 billion years ago. This leaves a window of perhaps 200-300 million years for the
appearance of life on earth. This duration was once considered too short for the emergence of
something as complex as a living cell. Hence suggestions were made that germs of life may have come
to earth from outer space with cometary dust or even, as proposed by Francis Crick of DNA doublehelix fame, on a spaceship sent out by some distant civilization…But it seems very likely that the first
building blocks of nascent life were provided by amino acids and other small organic molecules such
as are known to form readily in the laboratory and on celestial bodies. To what extent these substances
arose on earth or were brought in by the falling comets and asteroids that contributed to the final
accretion of our planet is still being debated.” – “The Beginnings of Life on Earth,” Christian de Duve,
American Scientist, September-October 1995
xi. Meteorites suggested as the source of life
1. Meteorites are sought as the source of:
a. Basic organic compounds
b. Amino acids
c. Mmembranes as well
“Astronomers and geologists were discovering that Earth had a violent infancy--hundreds of millions
of years after the planet had formed, giant asteroids and comets still crashed into it, burning off its
young atmosphere and boiling away its oceans. In the process, they also destroyed all the chemicals
that researchers assumed were in liberal supply on the early Earth, including the building blocks of
lipids…Research now suggests that the source was extraterrestrial. Comets and meteorites evidently
brought seeds of creation to replace the ones they had destroyed, in the form of hundreds of different
organic carbon molecules synthesized when the solar system was a swirling disk of gas and dust. After the
last atmosphere-killing impacts--about 4 billion years ago--smaller comets, meteorites, and dust from
space could, in the space of a few hundred million years, have brought enough organic carbon to
cover the planet in a layer ten inches deep. Deamer wondered whether space could also supply him with his
membranes; specifically, he wondered whether he could dig them out of a 200-pound meteorite that had
fallen in Murchison, Australia, in 1969 and that was positively tarry with organic carbon. In 1985 he
traveled to Australian National University in Canberra to study it…Deamer was encouraged by this work-he had found hints that meteorites supplied material to form membranes that could have enclosed
complex genetic molecules and could have trapped energy.” – First Cell, by Carl Zimmer, DISCOVER,
Vol. 16 No. 11, November 1995, Biology & Medicine
xii. Transportation Hypothesis and Problems
1. Two means of transportation have been suggested.
a. The first alternative is transportation by meteorite or comet.
b. The second alternative is transportation in a space ship by
intelligent life forms.
“This duration was once considered too short for the emergence of something as complex as a living cell.
Hence suggestions were made that germs of life may have come to earth from outer space with
cometary dust or even, as proposed by Francis Crick of DNA double-helix fame, on a spaceship sent
94
out by some distant civilization. No evidence in support of these proposals has yet been obtained.” – “The
Beginnings of Life on Earth,” Christian de Duve, American Scientist, September-October 1995
xiii. Timing also crucial to panspermia.
1. The timing for when the meteorites and comets might have brought the
pre-biotic compounds or even life itself to earth is identified as around
3.5-3.9 billion years ago.
“Exobiology, V PROSPECTS FOR DISCOVERY – Current exobiology research focuses on
understanding how life arose on Earth and discovering potential life-supporting environments other than
Earth. Scientists now believe that life on Earth dates back to at least 3.85 billion years before present,
so living organisms have populated Earth for more than 80 percent of its history...Meteorites from Mars
and studies of the interchange of materials blasted into space by large asteroid impacts suggest that
some life forms may have traveled in space over billions of years.” – "Exobiology," Microsoft®
Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Advanced forms of life existed on earth at least 3.55 billion years ago…On the other hand, it is
believed that our young planet, still in the throes of volcanic eruptions and battered by falling comets
and asteroids, remained inhospitable to life for about half a billion years after its birth, together with
the rest of the solar system, some 4.55 billion years ago. This leaves a window of perhaps 200-300
million years for the appearance of life on earth…But it seems very likely that the first building blocks
of nascent life were provided by amino acids and other small organic molecules such as are known to
form readily in the laboratory and on celestial bodies. To what extent these substances arose on earth or
were brought in by the falling comets and asteroids that contributed to the final accretion of our
planet is still being debated.” – “The Beginnings of Life on Earth,” Christian de Duve, American
Scientist, September-October 1995
2.
Specific meteorites that have been found on earth have been dated to
this timeframe of around 3.6 billion years ago, at the “tail end” of
meteorite bombardment of the earth.
a. This provides potential as a means of explaining how life
might have traveled to earth at around the right time when life
is believed to have began on earth 3.8 billion years ago.
“Life, The search for life on other planets – In 1976, two United States space probes, Viking 1 and
Viking 2, landed on Mars and performed several experiments to test for life. These experiments indicated
chemical activity in Martian soil, but failed to detect any living organisms. In 1996, scientists claimed
they found evidence of Martian life from a meteorite discovered in Antarctica. This meteorite, over
3.6 billion years old, contained objects resembling fossils of bacteria. It also contained compounds
that are produced by living organisms on Earth. The question of life remains unsettled, but most
scientists consider it very unlikely.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Harold J. Morowitz, Ph.D., Robinson
Professor of Biology and Director of Krasnow Institute, George Mason University.
“Exobiology – In 1976, two United States Viking space probes landed on Mars and conducted
experiments. But these experiments did not uncover any living organisms. In 1996, scientists claimed they
found evidence of Martian life from a meteorite discovered in Antarctica. This meteorite, which
scientists believe came from Mars, is over 3.6 billion years old. It contained objects resembling fossils
of bacteria. The meteorite also contained compounds that are produced by living organisms on the
earth. Although the question of life on Mars remains unsettled, most scientists consider it very unlikely.” –
Worldbook, Contributor: Tobias C. Owen, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy, Institute for Astronomy,
University of Hawaii, Honolulu.
b.
The timing of these meteorite impacts is the same time when
the most primitive life forms would have had to be present on
earth in order for them to evolve into the earliest organisms in
the fossil record around 3.5 billion years ago.
95
i. As stated in an earlier segment, the earliest fossils
date to 3.4 billions years ago.
“Earth [planet], History of Earth, Life on Earth – Fossils help scientists learn which kinds of plants and
animals lived at different times in Earth's history. Scientists who study prehistoric life are called
paleontologists. Many scientists believe that life appeared on Earth almost as soon as conditions
allowed. There is evidence for chemicals created by living things in rocks from the Archean age, 3.8
billion years old. Fossil remains of microscopic living things about 3.5 billion years old have also been
found at sites in Australia and Canada.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Steven I. Dutch, Ph.D., Professor,
Department of Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay.
“Exobiology, V PROSPECTS FOR DISCOVERY – Scientists now believe that life on Earth dates
back to at least 3.85 billion years before present, so living organisms have populated Earth for more than
80 percent of its history.” – "Exobiology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft
Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Evolution, I INTRODUCTION – The earliest known fossil organisms are single-celled forms
resembling modern bacteria; they date from about 3.4 billion years ago.” – "Evolution," Microsoft®
Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
xiv. Panspermia attempts to solve (avoid) significant problems
1. The arrival of life or at least essential pre-biotic chemicals by means of
meteorites and comets has gained favor in the evolutionary community
because it solves 3 critical problems facing evolutionary theory.
a. First, it resolves the problem created by the bombarding of the
earth
i. It turns that problem into a solution by asserting those
meteorites and comets were the source of the organic
material.
b. Second, it resolves the timing problem caused by the need for
more primitive to have existed for the few hundred million
years necessary for them to evolve into the earliest, yet still
highly complex organisms found in the very first part of the
fossil record.
c. Third, it resolves the problems raised by other environmental
hazards by relocating the origin of life to a more idealized
environment on another world.
2. It is important to note that, despite the advantages this Panspermia
infuses into the meteorite bombardment period of early earth history,
the meteorite bombardment period is not an artificial construct created
merely to facilitate these advantages.
a. The understanding that the earth was bombarded by meteorites
until about 3.9 billion years ago is based upon independent
geological considerations, such as the number of craters on the
moon and mars.
“Earth, geologic history of, The pregeologic period – The history of the Earth spans approximately 4.6
billion years. The oldest known rocks, however, have an isotopic age of only about 3.9 billion years.
There is, in effect, a stretch of 700 million years for which no geologic record exists, and the evolution of
this pregeologic period of time is not surprisingly the subject of much speculation. To understand this littleknown period, the following factors have to be considered: the age of formation at 4.6 billion years ago, the
processes in operation until 3.9 billion years ago, the bombardment of the Earth by meteorites, and
the earliest zircon crystals…It is known from direct observation that the surface of the Moon is covered
with a multitude of meteorite craters. There are about 40 large basins attributable to meteorite
impact. Known as maria, these depressions were filled in with basaltic lavas caused by the impact-induced
melting of the lunar mantle. Many of these basalts have been analyzed isotopically and found to have
96
crystallization ages of 3.9 to 4 billion years. It can be safely concluded that the Earth, with a greater
attractive mass than the Moon, must have undergone more extensive meteorite bombardment.
According to the English-born geologist Joseph V. Smith, a minimum of 500 to 1,000 impact basins
were formed on the Earth within a period of about 100 to 200 million years prior to 3.95 billion years
ago. Moreover, plausible calculations suggest that this estimate represents merely the tail end of an
interval of declining meteorite bombardment and that about 20 times as many basins were formed in
the preceding 300 million years. Such intense bombardment would have covered most of the Earth's
surface, with the impacts causing considerable destruction of the terrestrial crust up to 3.9 billion
years ago. There is, however, no direct evidence of this important phase of Earth history because rocks
older than 3.9 billion years have not been preserved.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
b.
If panspermia is false, scenarios locating the origin of life to
earth itself still have to contend with the prohibitive obstacle
posed by the massive meteorite and comet bombardment of
the earth during the very timeframe when life would have
needed to originate here.
xv. Panspermia has serious problems
1. First, meteors would have to be within a certain size range and might
even have to break up in the atmosphere in order for organic molecules
to complete the journey to earth.
“During the solar system’s infancy, when huge meteorites were regularly smashing into the planets, a fair
amount of Mars could have made its way to Earth in a matter of months, and some of it could have been
infected with Martian microbes…Bacteria on small meteorites would die as their spaceships burned up
in Earth’s atmosphere, while large meteorites would detonate on impact. But a medium-size one
would be braked gently by the atmosphere, would not get too hot in its core, and would hit the
ground relatively softly. Bacteria riding these impactors might well survive the landing: such
meteorites also have a habit of breaking up while still in the air, and the fragments would disperse
microbes over a large surface area, like interplanetary seedpods.” – “Looking for Life in All the Wrong
Places,” by Will Hively, DISCOVER, Vol. 18 No. 05, May 1997, Astronomy & Physics
2.
Even assuming proper-sized meteors, evolutionary scientists debate the
feasibility of key compounds in meteorites surviving due to…
a. the heat of both exit and entry impacts,
b. the speed of exit,
c. the cold of space,
d. the violent break-up that occurs upon entry and impact
“In 1871, British physicist William Thomson Kelvin told his colleagues in Edinburgh: ‘We must regard
it as probable in the highest degree that there are countless seed-bearing meteoritic stones moving about
through space. If at the present instant no life existed upon this earth, one such stone falling upon it
might . . . lead to its becoming covered with vegetation.’ Three decades later, Swedish chemist and
Nobel laureate Svante Arrhenius agreed, but he took issue with part of Kelvin's scenario. The fiery
trauma of a meteoroid ejected from a planet or out of the solar system, he argued, would incinerate
any cells it harbored. Instead of hitching rides within rocks, Arrhenius said, life could travel unaided.
In 1903, he proposed that spores of plants and germs might drift through space propelled by the gentle
pressure of starlight. He called this idea panspermia (from the Greek for ‘seeds everywhere’).” – “Did
Life on Earth Come From Mars?,” by Robert Irion, DISCOVER, Vol. 22 No. 08, August 2001
“However, says Chyba, it’s likely that most organics aboard meteorites and comets never made it to
Earth. At these velocities, at least 10 to 15 miles per second, the temperatures you reach on impact
are so high that you end up frying just about everything. And those organics that survived would
probably have been too few and too scattered to evolve into life.” – “How Did Life Start?,” by Peter
Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11, November 1992, Biology & Medicine
97
e.
(Still other scientists point to evidence as indicating it is
possible that certain parts of asteroids or comets might not
even reach such damaging temperatures at all, making survival
possible.)
“Another anticipated hurdle would be the intense heat at launch from one planet and the heat at
impact on another. Yet last year a team led by graduate student Benjamin Weiss of the California Institute
of Technology found that the inside of a Martian meteorite (ALH84001, made famous by researchers
who believe that it contains clues of ancient life) never grew hotter than a summer day in Palm Springs.
The team figured this out by analyzing faint traces of a magnetic field preserved within the meteorite.
When researchers heated a small slice of it to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, the rock's magnetic signature—
imprinted during its early days on Mars— vanished. That meant the meteorite's interior had never
exceeded that temperature, not even during its odyssey to Earth.” – “Did Life on Earth Come From
Mars?,” by Robert Irion, DISCOVER, Vol. 22 No. 08, August 2001
3.
Break-ups that occur at impact are believed to be an obstacle that
would destroy any important compounds in the meteorite.
a. (Still some evolutionary scientists assert that meteors and any
pre-biotic compounds they contained would survive the breakups that occur upon impact as well.)
“In the 1980s, new evidence turned up. Analysis of trace gases within meteorites found on Earth revealed
that some had originated on Mars or on our moon. ‘That changed everything,’ says Jay Melosh, an
astronomer at the University of Arizona. ‘Suddenly, interplanetary transfer was feasible.’ It turns out
that a high-speed impact on a planet's surface doesn't pulverize all the rock on the ground below.
Instead, some rocks at the edge of the impact get lofted into space at tremendous speeds and remain
intact.” – “Did Life on Earth Come From Mars?,” by Robert Irion, DISCOVER, Vol. 22 No. 08, August
2001
4.
The speed of escape velocity is also seen as a significant obstacle to the
survival of any relevant pre-biotic compounds.
a. (Still, some evolutionists assert there is evidence that this issue
is not really a problem.)
“The team's work established that a transfer of rocks could occur easily and often between planets in the
inner solar system. The next question: Could microbes aboard survive ejection and impact? To escape
a planet's gravity, a rock must accelerate from zero to at least 11,500 miles per hour in a thousandthof-a-second jerk so intense it would liquefy a human. But when Jay Melosh and his colleague Rachel
Mastrapa loaded bacteria into bullet casings and shot them into cold plastic modeling clay, they found that
most bacteria survived. Mileikowsky, too, has tested this idea by firing cannon shells stuffed with pebbles
holding hundreds of millions of ordinary bacteria. Again, most of the cells lived.” – “Did Life on Earth
Come From Mars?,” by Robert Irion, DISCOVER, Vol. 22 No. 08, August 2001
5.
Cometary dust alternative suggested due to volatile and prohibitive
nature of meteor or comet impacts
a. Evolutionary scientists who regard the heat and break-up at
impact to be prohibitive assert an alternative.
b. Pre-biotic compounds or even living microbes could waft
gently into earth’s atmosphere in the form of dust from comets
rather than impacting meteorites.
“The Primeval Biosphere – At the same time, some of the organic molecules delivered by the comets
may have had a few interesting chemical interactions of their own—actually giving a “jump start” to the
first life on our planet. Although some have questioned whether organics could survive the heat of an
impact, the issue now seems to be resolved. The survival of 74 different amino acids (most of which are
not known on the Earth) on carbonaceous chondrites, such as the Murchison meteorite, suggest that
98
organics could at least survive a minor impact. And recent studies by Elisabetta Pierazzo, of the
University of Arizona, and Christopher Chyba of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, suggest
that some amino acids could even survive the shock heating of kilometer-sized cometary impacts. In
any case, Anders and I have, independently, argued that an extremely large flux of interplanetary dust
particles (derived from the tails of comets that missed the Earth during its first 600 million years)
could have salted the young Earth with enormous quantities of prebiotic molecules. Indeed, in 1985
Don Brownlee of the University of Washington, Seattle, showed that cometary dust grains, captured in
the upper atmosphere, contain undamaged organic molecules.” – “An Argument for the Cometary
Origin of the Biosphere,” Armand H. Delsemme, American Scientist, Volume 89, 2004
“But interplanetary dust particles (IDPs for short) are another matter. In contrast to their larger cousins,
these particles, tiny specks no larger than .004 inch across, routinely reach Earth. They get slowed
way up in the atmosphere, says Chyba. Then they remain floating around for months, even years,
before they come down. NASA samples IDPs directly in the atmosphere with modified U2 spy planes
fitted with adhesive collectors on the wings. What researchers have found is that IDPs also contain organic
material--although only about 10 percent worth. Perhaps, then, dust seeded early Earth with the stuff of
life.” – “How Did Life Start?,” by Peter Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11, November 1992, Biology
& Medicine
c.
6.
The cometary dust scenario still has problems
i. It only averts problems upon arrival in earth’s
atmosphere
ii. Still retains…
1. interplanetary survival problems
2. exit impact problems that would arise earlier
in the journey.
This makes the travel time prohibitive to any pan-spermia theory.
a. Very improbable that either life or pre-biotic compounds
could survive the sheer amount of time they would be in
space.
b. It is generally agreed that any life forms could not survive
more than a half a dozen years in space at the most.
c. Crossing from one planet to another requires…
i. for even the shortest hypothetical trips between earth
and Mars – multiple decades or millennia
ii. normally, such trips would start from more distant
locations and would take millions of years.
“In order to make the journey, a microbe would have to be a rugged generalist. Being tough, it would
last for months in space, and once dropped onto a new planet, a generalist could thrive almost anywhere.
If specialists survived the ride, by contrast, they would quickly die unless they were lucky enough to land
on a spot to their liking.” – “Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places,” by Will Hively, DISCOVER, Vol.
18 No. 05, May 1997, Astronomy & Physics
“Microbial havens could, therefore, survive the trip between planets. ‘The only question is the
lifetime of the bacteria,’ says Mileikowsky. ‘It is the aspect that must be tested more than anything else.’
A few experiments show that bacteria can persist in space for at least a few years. Microbiologist
Gerda Horneck of DLR, the German space agency, found that out when she sent organisms into a sixyear orbit on a NASA satellite in the 1980s. The star performer was Bacillus subtilis. When deprived of
nutrients, these bacteria form spores, hardened nuggets that protect each cell's vital components. Horneck
found that although ultraviolet radiation killed all the spores in a top layer, the dead spores formed a
protective shield for those beneath. Many survived the vacuum, cold, and lack of water, including about 30
percent of those embedded in salt.” – “Did Life on Earth Come From Mars?,” by Robert Irion,
DISCOVER, Vol. 22 No. 08, August 2001
99
“Two years ago, Rocco Mancinelli followed up by sending his salt-loving microbes into space for two
weeks on BioPan, a European satellite. Mancinelli showed that halophiles also survive, but they don't
make spores. His result may mean that many ordinary, non-spore-forming microbes could travel within
meteoroids. Horneck and Mancinelli acknowledge that short satellite flights can't compare with the
millions of years required for most interplanetary crossings, or even the decades to millennia
required for fast transfers between Earth and Mars.” – “Did Life on Earth Come From Mars?,” by
Robert Irion, DISCOVER, Vol. 22 No. 08, August 2001
7.
The extreme cold of space is also a serious prohibitive factor.
a. Extreme cold is a factor even during trips with short duration.
“Bacteria forced into subfreezing habitats usually become dormant: they slow their metabolic activity
to a very low level. Years later, many can revive if thawed. But not after millions of years.” –
“Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places,” by Will Hively, DISCOVER, Vol. 18 No. 05, May 1997,
Astronomy & Physics
b.
Mars, an example of prohibitive nature of extreme cold for life
due to lack of atmosphere
i. One reason for why life could not be present on Mars
is extreme cold, colder than any bacteria have
survived in on earth.
ii. Any primitive life form on a meteor, comet, or
asteroid would like Mars have no atmosphere to help
trap and retain heat for the long durations between
exit and impact.
“As far as his own research went, the stories were reasonably accurate: he had shown that the microbes
were certainly alive, although at that point he knew almost nothing about how they managed to survive in
frozen rock. But the stories also suggested, wrongly, that such microbes could still be alive on Mars
today. In fact the Martian atmosphere vanished almost completely billions of years ago, along with
liquid water on the surface, and the climate over most of the planet became colder than Antarctica.
Cryptoendoliths may once have lived on Mars, but they would now be long gone.” – Looking for Life in
All the Wrong Places, by Will Hively, DISCOVER, Vol. 18 No. 05, May 1997, Astronomy & Physics
“Bacteria forced into subfreezing habitats usually become dormant: they slow their metabolic activity to
a very low level. Years later, many can revive if thawed. But not after millions of years.” – Looking for
Life in All the Wrong Places, by Will Hively, DISCOVER, Vol. 18 No. 05, May 1997, Astronomy &
Physics
““During the solar system’s infancy, when huge meteorites were regularly smashing into the planets, a fair
amount of Mars could have made its way to Earth in a matter of months, and some of it could have been
infected with Martian microbes…Assume, for a moment, that microbes are riding one of those rocks,
possibly inside it. Little DNA would be damaged in such a short period of time, and so they could
simply turn off their metabolic engines in the cold vacuum of space.” – Looking for Life in All the Wrong
Places, by Will Hively, DISCOVER, Vol. 18 No. 05, May 1997, Astronomy & Physics
“One hitch is that Martian permafrost temperatures average about 100 degrees below zero, which is
quite a bit colder than the -16 degree soils that Friedmann probed in Antarctica. Another hitch is that
such microbes would be required to survive 3 billion years rather than 3 million.” – Looking for Life in All
the Wrong Places, by Will Hively, DISCOVER, Vol. 18 No. 05, May 1997, Astronomy & Physics
iii. The average temperature on Mars is -195 to 79
degrees Fahrenheit (-125 to 20 degrees Celsius).
1. This is “quite a bit colder than the -16
degrees” of soils in Antarctica.
100
2.
The average temperatures on Antarctica
range from -4 to -94 degrees Fahrenheit in
the winter (-20 to -70 degrees Celsius) and
from -31 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit (-35 to 0
degrees Celsius) in the summer.
“Antarctica, Physical geography, The land, Climate – Mean temperatures of the coldest months are
−4 degrees to −22 degrees F (−20 degrees to −30 degrees C) on the coast and −40 degrees to −94
degrees F (−40 degrees to −70 degrees C) in the interior, the coldest period on the polar plateau being
usually in late August just before the return of the sun. Whereas midsummer temperatures may reach as
high as 59 degrees F (15 degrees C) on the Antarctic Peninsula, those elsewhere are usually much lower,
ranging from a mean of about 32 degrees F (0 degrees C) on the coast to between −4 degrees and −31
degrees F (−20 degrees and −35 degrees C) in the interior.”
c.
The Temperature of Space is Too Cold
i. Given that the temperature in Antarctica is
uninhabitable to most life and the temperature on
Mars is completely uninhabitable, what is the
temperature of space?
ii. When discussing the temperature of space, scientists
use phrases such as “background radiation
temperature.”
1. According to Big Bang theory, originally the
universe was very hot and background
radiation is the left over energy from that
Big Bang.
2. After billions of years of expansion, the
universe has cooled
3. This is reflected in the current background
radiation.
iii. The temperature of the current background radiation
is 3-5 degrees, not above zero, but above absolute
zero.
“Cosmos, Other components, Microwave background radiation – Beginning in 1948, the American
cosmologist George Gamow and his coworkers, Ralph Alpher and Robert Herman, investigated the idea
that the chemical elements might have been synthesized by thermonuclear reactions that took place in a
primeval fireball. The high temperature associated with the early universe would give rise to a
thermal radiation field, which has a unique distribution of intensity with wavelength (known as
Planck's radiation law), that is a function only of the temperature. As the universe expanded, the
temperature would have dropped, each photon being redshifted by the cosmological expansion to longer
wavelength, as the American physicist Richard C. Tolman had already shown in 1934. By the present
epoch the radiation temperature would have dropped to very low values, about 5° above absolute
zero (0 K, or -273° C) according to the estimates of Alpher and Herman.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica
2004 Deluxe Edition
"Background Radiation, I INTRODUCTION – Background radiation represents energy left over
from the "big bang," the explosion at the beginning of the universe (see Big Bang Theory)...The big
bang theory of the beginning of the universe holds that the universe was extremely hot and dense in its
first moments and has been expanding and cooling ever since. Models of the early universe and its
evolution predict that some of the radiation caused by the extremely high temperature of the early
universe will still be present, but that it will exist at a much lower temperature because the universe
has expanded so much. Scientists can measure the intensity of the background radiation at infrared,
microwave, and radio wavelengths to determine how the intensity of the radiation relates to its wavelength.
Planck's law, developed in the early 1900s by German physicist Max Planck, predicts the curve of intensity
versus wavelength for the radiation of an object of a given temperature. The curve that results from
101
measurement of the background radiation matches exactly the curve predicted for a body radiating
energy at a little less than 3 K (a little less than -270° C, or about -450° F).” - "Background Radiation,"
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
8.
iv. At around -450 degrees Fahrenheit (-270 degrees
Celsius), the temperature of space is…
1. double the lowest average temperatures of
Mars (-195 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit, -125 to
20 degrees Celsius)
2. anywhere from three to ten times as low as
the average temperatures in Antarctica (-94
degrees Fahrenheit, -70 degrees Celsius in
the winter to -31 degrees Fahrenheit, -35
degrees Celsius in the summer).
v. These temperatures are simply prohibitive to the idea
of any organism making any interplanetary journey
that lasts for more than a few years
vi. This rules out any interplanetary journey on a comet
or meteorite, since such journeys take thousands, or
more typically, millions of years.
Exposure to cosmic radiation is another significant obstacle to
panspermia.
“Even if frozen, Friedmann says, microorganisms cannot survive forever. Radiation--either from
radioactivity in rock or from cosmic rays falling from the sky--will damage bacterial DNA and over
millions of years will almost certainly kill a microbe. Another risk involves changes in the structure
of amino acids, a kind of spontaneous twisting known as racemization. Amino acids can exist in either leftor right-twisting versions, but living cells use only left-twisting ones. If a cell becomes completely
dormant, it cannot repair proteins that spontaneously flip to the right-twisted form, and these
harmful errors can build up. After 3 million years, a revived bacterium would find itself with
proteins that no longer function.” – “Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places,” by Will Hively,
DISCOVER, Vol. 18 No. 05, May 1997, Astronomy & Physics
a.
Scientists open to this possibility that life could survive
radiation from space only regard such microbes as having a
“decent chance.”
“BACILLUS NEALSON II – A double-spore coating makes this bac-terium especially resistant to
gamma radiation, one of the chief obstacles to any potential life on Mars. B. nealsonii, a new species, is
particularly well adapted to the dry environment of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory SAF, where it was first
discovered…As Venkat discovered, the second spore coating also offers a secondary benefit: It makes the
organism unusually resistant to gamma rays, a form of cosmic radiation that, in large doses, is fatal
to men and microbes alike. (Earth’s atmosphere screens out most gamma radiation; Mars, in
contrast, is a gamma-ray frying pan.)…But what’s notable, Venkat says, is that the very traits that render
these bugs impervious to decontamination also grant them a decent chance of surviving the radiation
shower they would encounter en route to and on the surface of a place like Mars.” – “Seeding the
Universe,” by Alan Burdick, DISCOVER, Vol. 25 No. 10, October 2004, Astronomy & Physics
b.
Even with a “decent” chance of surviving radiation, such
microorganisms would still face serious additional problems
such as…
i. the cold of space
ii. a hostile environment if they managed to survive the
cold of space,
iii. the sheer acceleration of ejection speeds,
iv. the dangers of impact
102
9.
Only particular microorganisms landing at a particular time in a
particular place could survive to evolve on the primitive earth.
a. Not just any microorganism would survive on earth to grow
and reproduce for evolution.
i. Only a particular type of microorganism would
survive on its new home.
ii. And it would also have to arrive at just the right
environmental spot on earth as well (and at just the
right time).
“The Primeval Biosphere – About 3.5 billion years ago large cometary impacts would have become
increasingly rare, but when they did occur, they produced enormous cataclysms. The oceans would
have boiled near the impact site, causing hurricanes and gigantic waterspouts with fantastic ejections of
gas and water into space. Under these chaotic and seemingly inhospitable conditions, a phenomenon
occurs that is going to have astonishing consequences: Bacteria begin to multiply in the hot waters of the
first oceans.” – “An Argument for the Cometary Origin of the Biosphere,” Armand H. Delsemme,
American Scientist, Volume 89, 2004
“There’s another possible drawback to the notion of an extraterrestrial origin of life, acknowledged
by Chyba himself. The surface of early Earth would have been a very hostile place, he says. The
biggest impacts would have generated enough heat to evaporate the entire ocean, probably several
times. And leaving the biggest impacts aside, the upper tens of meters of the oceans would routinely
have been evaporated and the surface of Earth sterilized by these giant impacts.” – “How Did Life
Start?,” by Peter Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11, November 1992, Biology & Medicine
“In order to make the journey, a microbe would have to be a rugged generalist. Being tough, it would
last for months in space, and once dropped onto a new planet, a generalist could thrive almost anywhere.
If specialists survived the ride, by contrast, they would quickly die unless they were lucky enough to
land on a spot to their liking.” – “Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places,” by Will Hively,
DISCOVER, Vol. 18 No. 05, May 1997, Astronomy & Physics
b.
Landing on just the right spot on the otherwise inhospitable
planet is regarded by some evolutionists as quite a difficult
prospect.
i. According to some scientists, the only feasible place
for survival in this hostile world would have been the
hydrothermal vents in the depths of the oceans.
“The biggest impacts would have generated enough heat to evaporate the entire ocean, probably
several times. And leaving the biggest impacts aside, the upper tens of meters of the oceans would routinely
have been evaporated and the surface of Earth sterilized by these giant impacts. Where, then, in such a
nightmarish environment, could emerging life have been sufficiently protected? The only safe place-safe, at least, after the last total evaporations were over and done with--would have been in the deep
ocean. And that, says Jack Corliss, is where hydrothermal vents come into the picture.” – “How Did Life
Start?,” by Peter Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11, November 1992, Biology & Medicine
c.
Only particular types of organisms could survive
i. In order to survive the journey through space and
survive on the hostile environment of earth’s past, a
microorganism would have to be “a rugged
generalist.”
ii. If the organism were “a specialist,”…
1. it wouldn’t survive the journey through
space
103
2.
d.
if it did, it would likely die rather quickly on
earth due to the improbability of it finding
just the right spot that it is “specialized for.”
“the only safe place” in earth’s hostile environment would
have been the deep sea hydrothermal vents
i. The microorganisms that live near the hydrothermal
vents are decisively “specialists” not “rugged
generalists.”
ii. Discover describes the organisms capable of
populating hydrothermal vents as “extremophiles,”
1. These are organisms suited to particular,
extreme environments rather than “medium
conditions.”
“Friedmann keeps a large collection of such death-defying organisms in his lab and studies them between
treks to exotic environments. Over the course of his career he has become a connoisseur of extreme
habitats--the worst on Earth. If you think you know what extreme means, think again. Friedmann has
been mulling the concept for decades. It is not easy to define an extreme environment, he says. It is simply
different from ours-- what we ourselves do not like. Among the denizens of the extreme are
thermophiles that love water so hot it would kill us, psychrophiles that thrive in places so cold,
halophiles in salt brine so strong, and barophiles under pressure so high that we’d expire. Together, such
microbes are sometimes called extremophiles, as opposed to mesophiles--creatures, like us, that
prefer medium conditions. Of course, from an extremophile’s point of view, we are the ones who live at
extremes…Meanwhile deep-sea thermophiles have been found near vents at temperatures as high as
230 degrees.” – “Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places,” by Will Hively, DISCOVER, Vol. 18 No. 05,
May 1997, Astronomy & Physics
e.
No compatible survival scenarior for particular
microorganisms in a particular place
i. The only microorganisms that are likely to survive
the interplanetary journey are rugged generalists.
ii. The only organisms that could survive after the
journey in the hostile environment of the earth at the
time are extreme specialists.
iii. There is no compatible scenario and no working or
accepted explanation for panspermia within the
evolutionary community.
10. Timing Problems – just the right organism at just the right spot at just
the right time, too.
a. Any organism would have to arrive at just the spot where it
was specialized to live and at right time in earth’s history,
after the last of “ocean-evaporating” impacts.
i. This “improbability” seems to turn right into
“impossibility” given the fact that, as we have seen,
“ocean-boiling” impacts only became “increasingly
rare” 3.5 billion years ago.
“In order to make the journey, a microbe would have to be a rugged generalist. Being tough, it would
last for months in space, and once dropped onto a new planet, a generalist could thrive almost anywhere.
If specialists survived the ride, by contrast, they would quickly die unless they were lucky enough to
land on a spot to their liking.” – “Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places,” by Will Hively,
DISCOVER, Vol. 18 No. 05, May 1997, Astronomy & Physics
“The biggest impacts would have generated enough heat to evaporate the entire ocean, probably
several times. And leaving the biggest impacts aside, the upper tens of meters of the oceans would routinely
have been evaporated and the surface of Earth sterilized by these giant impacts. Where, then, in such a
104
nightmarish environment, could emerging life have been sufficiently protected? The only safe place-safe, at least, after the last total evaporations were over and done with--would have been in the deep
ocean. And that, says Jack Corliss, is where hydrothermal vents come into the picture.” – “How Did Life
Start?,” by Peter Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11, November 1992, Biology & Medicine
“The Primeval Biosphere – About 3.5 billion years ago large cometary impacts would have become
increasingly rare, but when they did occur, they produced enormous cataclysms. The oceans would
have boiled near the impact site, causing hurricanes and gigantic waterspouts with fantastic ejections of
gas and water into space. Under these chaotic and seemingly inhospitable conditions, a phenomenon
occurs that is going to have astonishing consequences: Bacteria begin to multiply in the hot waters of the
first oceans.” – “An Argument for the Cometary Origin of the Biosphere,” Armand H. Delsemme,
American Scientist, Volume 89, 2004
ii. But, evolutionary theory requires that life was present
on earth 3.8 billion years ago.
1. This is necessary in order to have time to
develop into the earliest organisms in the
fossil record, which appear at 3.5 billion
years ago and were already “quite
sophisticated.”
“Evolutionary biologists have traced our family tree to bacteria, one-celled organisms that have been
found in rock formations 3.5 billion years old. But even these primitive creatures were already quite
sophisticated. They had genes of DNA and RNA and were made of protein, lipids, and other
ingredients. Something simpler must have preceded them.” – “How Did Life Start?,” by Peter Radetsky,
DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11, November 1992, Biology & Medicine
“Exobiology, V PROSPECTS FOR DISCOVERY – Scientists now believe that life on Earth dates
back to at least 3.85 billion years before present, so living organisms have populated Earth for more than
80 percent of its history.” – "Exobiology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft
Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Earth [planet], History of Earth, Life on Earth – Fossils help scientists learn which kinds of plants and
animals lived at different times in Earth's history. Scientists who study prehistoric life are called
paleontologists. Many scientists believe that life appeared on Earth almost as soon as conditions
allowed. There is evidence for chemicals created by living things in rocks from the Archean age, 3.8
billion years old. Fossil remains of microscopic living things about 3.5 billion years old have also been
found at sites in Australia and Canada.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Steven I. Dutch, Ph.D., Professor,
Department of Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay.
“‘Bugs are very clever,’ Kasthuri Venkateswaran says with affection. ‘They started out on Earth 3.8
billion years ago, when nothing else was here!’…Venkateswaran quietly examines the machinery itself,
searching for any clever microbes—‘bugs,’ he calls them—that might try to tag along.” – “Seeding the
Universe,” by Alan Burdick, DISCOVER, Vol. 25 No. 10, October 2004, Astronomy & Physics
iii. The only feasible timeframe for life to migrate to the
earth from space is after the ocean-boiling impacts,
which ended at 3.5 billion years ago, 300 million
years too late, 300 million years after the organisms
would have needed to arrive.
iv. Not only is there insufficient time for life to originate
on earth, but there simply isn’t any time at which
microorganisms could migrate to the earth from some
space either.
11. Limitations on panspermia’s origin
105
a.
Evolutionary scientists state that panspermia is possible only if
it occurs within the solar system.
“The fanciful notion that life spread through space--known as panspermia--has been tossed around for
decades. Originally it was proposed as an interstellar inoculation, but now researchers are beginning to
think seriously about a local, Mars-to-Earth version.” – “Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places,” by
Will Hively, DISCOVER, Vol. 18 No. 05, May 1997, Astronomy & Physics
i. The odds of panspermia occurring from outside the
galaxy are “1 in a billion” – such a scenario is
deemed impossible.
“Still, migrating microbes face significant obstacles. Until recently, no researchers had evaluated every
stage of the scenario. Then a Swedish scientist rounded up a team to do just that…They soon found that
panspermia seems viable only within our own solar system. One hitch in the old theory, he explains,
was that interstellar nomads would face lethal radiation from cosmic rays, which strike far more
frequently beyond the sun's magnetic shield. Even more important, Mileikowsky's team has calculated
the probability of ejected planetary material reaching Earth from elsewhere in the Milky Way or
from another galaxy. ‘It is one in a billion,’ says Mileikowsky. Given those odds, the probability is
virtually nil that even one ejecta from the galaxy with still-viable microorganisms on board could
have arrived on Earth during its first 500 million years. So Mileikowsky concludes, ‘Our ancestor cell
must have been created within our own planetary system or in a nearby sister system born at the
same time.’” – “Did Life on Earth Come From Mars?,” by Robert Irion, DISCOVER, Vol. 22 No. 08,
August 2001
b.
The other, more remote possibility is that the organic
molecules came from a nearby “sister system”
i. However, the sister system scenario possesses neither
the additional time nor the necessary environmental
conditions that the panspermia suggestion exists to
solve in the first place.
ii. In evolutionary theory, planet forming processes are
automatic, routine, uniform, and universal.
1. Since the “sister system” would have formed
around the same time as the earth…
a. it wouldn’t have had a different
climate or environment
b. it would have been going through
the same general early stages of
planet and solar system formation.
2. The origination of life in a “sister system
born at the same time” would face…
a. The exact same environmental
hazards as the origination of life on
earth
b. The same the planet-forming
processes behind earth’s hazardous
conditions would be at the same
point in a nearby, sister system’s
geologic history as well
iii. Likewise, its formation at nearly the same time as our
solar system would be too late for any interstellar
journey to be made in time to reach earth 3.8 billion
years ago.
106
iv. The untenable nature of the sister system hypothesis
is unavoidable without making unscientific and
unobservable assumptions…
1. that the conditions there were different from
our own solar system
2. that the conditions there were, for some
unknown reason, optimum for the origin of
life.
12. Mars, the nearest and most likely candidate for Panspermia within the
solar system, is also problematic.
“But were enough rocks launched to make arrivals on the young Earth likely?...’It's surprisingly easy
to get material from Mars to Earth,’ says Gladman. ‘If you launch stuff off Mars, there aren't a lot of other
places to go.’ He found that up to 5 percent of the rocks launched from Mars land on Earth within 10
million years. Many arrive much sooner— some within a few years. Mileikowsky's team then
deduced that 50 billion Martian rocks landed on Earth during the first 500 million years of the solar
system. Of those, about 20,000 rocks struck Earth within a decade…If life ever existed on Mars, it's quite
possible that it contaminated Earth repeatedly.” – Did Life on Earth Come From Mars?, by Robert Irion,
DISCOVER, Vol. 22 No. 08, August 2001
a.
This scenario doesn’t offer any avoidance to the problems
posed by earth’s violent early history, even though those are
the very problems it is intended to resolve.
i. The timeframe for a migration from Mars is
identified as the very same time periods during which
the earth is being bombarded with life-killing
meteorites and comets.
“If you go to the moon, says Chyba, or look at the craters on Mars or Mercury, what you see is that the
whole inner solar system was being subjected to a very intense bombardment from space at that
time. You can infer that the same was true for Earth.” – “How Did Life Start?,” by Peter Radetsky,
DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11, November 1992, Biology & Medicine
"Mars [planet], Physical features of Mars, Craters and impact basins. – Many meteoroids have struck
Mars over its history, producing impact craters. Impact craters are rare on Earth for two reasons: (1) Those
that formed early in the planet's history have eroded away, and (2) Earth developed a dense atmosphere,
preventing meteorites that could have formed craters from reaching the planet's surface…Evolution of
Mars - Periods of evolution. Scientists know generally how Mars evolved after it formed about 4.6
billion years ago. Their knowledge comes from studies of craters and other surface features...Researchers
have ranked the relative ages of surface regions according to the number of impact craters observed. The
greater the number of craters in a region, the older the surface there...During the Noachian Period, a
tremendous number of rocky objects of all sizes, ranging from small meteoroids to large asteroids,
struck Mars. The impact of those objects created craters of all sizes.” – Worldbook, Contributor:
Steven W. Squyres, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy, Cornell University.
“Earth [planet], History of Earth – After the main period of planet formation, most of the remaining
debris in the solar system was swept up by the newly formed planets. The collisions of the newly
formed planets and debris material were explosive. The impacts created the cratered surfaces of the
moon, Mars, Venus, and Mercury. Earth was also struck, but the craters produced by the impacts
have all been destroyed by erosion and plate tectonics.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Steven I. Dutch,
Ph.D., Professor, Department of Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay
1.
107
The lethal levels of bombardment are what
is supplying the meteorites coming from
Mars in the first place.
ii. Any organisms originating on Mars would only face
the same lethal environments on Mars before they
left and would face them again on Earth once they
arrived.
xvi. Conclusions about the necessity and viability of Panspermia and its
effectiveness for Evolution theory.
1. The possibility of relocating the origin of life to another planet contains
2 contradicting facts admitted by evolutionary scientists.
a. First, the factors and obstacles surrounding the prospect of life
originating on earth itself result in a probability so low that
panspermia is very necessary.
b. Second, the theory of panspermia itself is faced with the
following list of prohibitive obstacles and improbabilities:
i. the sheer amount of time involved in interplanetary
travel,
ii. the heat of escape impacts,
iii. the heat of entry impacts,
iv. the velocity of escape impacts,
v. the near absolute zero temperature of space,
vi. the radiation exposure in space,
vii. the destructive break-up that occurs at impact,
viii. the need for any candidate organism to be both a
generalist and a specialist at the same time,
ix. the improbability of such an organism finding
survivable environment on earth when it arrived,
x. the fact that the only feasible timeframe for such a
migration is 300 million years too late in earth’s
history,
xi. the lack of a suitable planetary origin either within
the solar system or in a nearby system or galaxy.
2. The combination of all these obstacles together only exponentially
multiplies the improbabilities of panspermia as a feasible explanation
for the origin of life without involving foresight.
3. Evolutionists’ own assestment of the viability of panspermia.
a. With all of these obstacles and improbabilities, it is no
wonder, evolutionary scientists themselves consider this
scenario, at best, an unknown speculation.
“‘We don't have an answer yet for whether life could withstand space travel,’ muses Mancinelli. ‘But
if it can, I wouldn't be surprised if a halophilic organism is the first extraterrestrial we find.’” – “Did Life
on Earth Come From Mars?,” by Robert Irion, DISCOVER, Vol. 22 No. 08, August 2001
“The fanciful notion that life spread through space--known as panspermia--has been tossed around for
decades. Originally it was proposed as an interstellar inoculation, but now researchers are beginning to
think seriously about a local, Mars-to-Earth version…Evidence is short for assigning life on Earth such
a dramatic origin, and Friedmann is not acting as the idea’s evangelist.” – “Looking for Life in All the
Wrong Places,” by Will Hively, DISCOVER, Vol. 18 No. 05, May 1997, Astronomy & Physics
b.
A large number of evolutionary scientists regard the
suggestion of life from spaces as outright impossible and
ridiculous.
i. The famed Stanley Miller regards any version of this
theory as “garbage,”
ii. Miller includes the criticism that even if pre-biotic
material did manage to reach the earth it would never
108
c.
be in sufficient amounts to lead to bring about life on
this planet.
“mainstream astrobiologists scoff at such ideas” as mere “wild
speculation.”
“Not surprisingly, not everyone thinks so. If you have to depend on such low amounts of organic
material as that found in IDPs, says Miller, then from the standpoint of making life on Earth you’re
bankrupt. You’re in Chapter Eleven. Because you just don’t have enough. His point rests on simple
common sense: the greater the amount of organics, the greater the possibility that they would have
interacted with one another. Too few organics, and odds are that they could never have gotten together
to begin the process of life in the first place. Organics from outer space, Miller scoffs. That’s garbage,
it really is.” – How Did Life Start?, by Peter Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11, November 1992,
Biology & Medicine
“Bacterial Evangelists – The eminent British astronomer Fred Hoyle and his former student
astrophysicist Chandra Wickramasinghe of the Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology in Wales promote a
far-reaching— and, to most scientists, far-fetched— view of panspermia. They believe that microbes
migrate within comets and their dusty remnants…Mainstream astrobiologists scoff at such ideas. No
evidence supports the notion that comets harbor watery, microbial havens. Nor are there distinctive
signs of bacterial life in the heavens. ‘That's wild speculation,’ says Peter Jenniskens, a meteor
specialist at the NASA Ames Research Center.” – Did Life on Earth Come From Mars?, by Robert Irion,
DISCOVER, Vol. 22 No. 08, August 2001
4.
Two insurmountable problems with panspermia scenarios
a. First, no matter what form it takes, panspermia simply
postpones origin of life dilemmas
i. It relocates the environmental and energy dilemmas
facing such origins on earth to another world at
another time.
“Life, The origin of life, Hypotheses of origins – Perhaps the most fundamental and at the same time the
least understood biological problem is the origin of life. It is central to many scientific and philosophical
problems and to any consideration of extraterrestrial life. Most of the hypotheses of the origin of life will
fall into one of four categories: …[3] Life is coeternal with matter and has no beginning; life arrived on
the Earth at the time of the origin of the earth or shortly thereafter…Such an idea of course avoids
rather than solves the problem of the origin of life.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Life, The origin of life, Modern theories – Scientists have proposed two major theories of the origin
of life. They are (1) the theory of panspermia and (2) the theory of chemical evolution. The theory of
panspermia states that spores from some other part of the universe landed on Earth and began to
develop…Even if the theory is true, it explains only the origin of life on Earth and not how life arose
in the universe.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Harold J. Morowitz, Ph.D., Robinson Professor of Biology
and Director of Krasnow Institute, George Mason University.
ii. Panspermia does not identify or demonstrate what
processes overcame the chicken-and-egg dilemma
created by the irreducible functional interdependence
of cell components.
iii. Panspermia does not identify or demonstrate exactly
how those processes were fueled by a sufficient
energy supply while remaining in a safe environment
that would prevent the pre-biotic chemicals from
breaking down from normal, thermodynamic
processes.
iv. At best…
109
1.
b.
Even if some version of panspermia were
true it still would not provide evolutionary
theory with any working scenario for how
the origin of life actually came about by
automatic, routine processes that proceed
without foresight
2. Panspermia could only provide an
explanation for how life came to earth after
that origination already occurred on some
other world by unknown processes.
Second, panspermia is unscientific because it is unfalsifiable.
i. Testability, falsifiability, and confirmation by
empirical experience are requirements for any theory
if that theory is to be considered science rather than
mere pseudoscience or non-science.
ii. By relocating the origin of life to an unknown world,
panspermia scenarios relegate evolutionary theories
for the origin of life directly to the realm of untestability and un-falsifiability.
iii. Because it is an identified location in an identified
timeframe with identified conditions, the early earth
does provide at least some measure of a test for the
suggested theories of the origin of life.
iv. Relocating the origin of life to an unknown planet in
the unknown and distant past where conditions are
unknown does 2 things.
1. First, panspermia allows for avoiding what
modern evolutionary science does consider
to be “known facts” pertaining to the early
history of the earth.
a. Against these “known facts”
evolutionary theories for the origin
of life could be at least partially
tested.
2. Second, panspermia makes testing and
falsifying evolutionary theories for the
origin of life impossible because there is no
way to know what conditions were like on
an unknown planet at an unknown time.
a. This being the case, we cannot
check the hypothesis to see if it fits
with observable facts and evidence
about such an imaginary setting.
v. Evolutionary scientists Imre Friedmann indicates that
origins theories, which require life to originate on
another planet, are “speculation” and are not “real”
because they are not “here” and, therefore, cannot be
“checked.”
“All these facts about Mars--along with new data about other worlds in our solar system and beyond--have
restored the excitement to exobiology. But for Friedmann, facts about Earth have always come first.
Distant planets inspire speculation, but so does the one planet where, for now, we can check hunches
about where to find life against nature’s actual results. And when the search gets down to microbes,
much of Earth remains unexplored. I do believe it is better to work on terrestrial samples, Friedmann
says. Which are real. Which are here.” – Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places, by Will Hively,
DISCOVER, Vol. 18 No. 05, May 1997, Astronomy & Physics
110
In other words, panspermia theories are “untestable” and “un-falsifiable.”
5. Theories relocating the origin of life to other planets are by their very
nature, fundamentally un-falsifiable, they are not scientific and
therefore cannot help the theory of evolution if that theory is to remain
within the realm of science rather than pseudo-science.
xvii. Conclusions on modern evolutionary theory on the origin of life.
1. Modern evolutionary theory simply has no working hypothesis for the
origin of life…
a. Evolution has no working location for the origin of life
i. neither from space nor on earth,
ii. neither in deep sea vents, on land, in shallow pools,
or tens of meters deep in the ocean,
b. Evolution has no working energy source for the origin of life
i. not fueled by lightning,
ii. not ultraviolet light,
iii. not heat or chemical reactions,
2. So, our definition of evolutionary theory is once again shown to be
accurate rather than the product of bias.
a. This fact is even more cemented by the fact that all of the
quotes and sources cited to demonstrate these claims have
been from secular sources, evolutionary scientists, and
mainstream scientific magazines themselves, not creationist
sources.
1.
4) Various theoretical scenarios are offered for the origin of life. And although each individual scenario is
acknowledged to be insufficient due to environmental prohibitions involving chemicals and energy sources,
the known geologic history of the earth, and statistical improbabilities particularly those surrounding the
arrival of cellular systems that are currently irreducibly functionally interdependent, the origin of life is
asserted to be the result of automatic, routine processes, in a yet unobserved environment perhaps even
occurring on another planet at an unknown time in the past when conditions and time allotments would be
ideal.
3.
For emphasis, we close this section by once again citing evolutionists
own quotes concerning the current status of evolutionary theory on the
issue of the origin of life by automatic, routine processes that proceed
without foresight.
a. From the beginning of evolutionary theory, Darwin himself
considered the origin of life question to be exceedingly
difficult and one that was not answered by his evolution
theory.
“The (from life), The origin of life, Hypotheses of origins – Although Darwin would not commit
himself on the origin of life, others subscribed to Hypothesis 4 more resolutely, notably the famous British
biologist T.H. Huxley in his Protoplasm, the Physical Basis of Life (1869), and the British physicist John
Tyndall in his “Belfast Address” of 1874...The primitive atmosphere – Darwin's attitude was: ‘It is
mere rubbish thinking at present of the origin of life; one might as well think of the origin of matter.’” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
b.
To this day, nothing has changed.
i. Evolution still has no working or accepted theory for
the origin of life.
ii. All evolutionists have is a philosophical dislike for
teleology, no matter how much the evidence indicates
that intelligent foresight is necessary to explain the
111
extraordinary coincidence of circumstances that are
necessary for the origin of life.
“Even if life came from elsewhere, we would still have to account for its first development. Thus we
might as well assume that life started on earth. How this momentous event happened is still highly
conjectural, though no longer purely speculative.” – “The Beginnings of Life on Earth,” Christian de
Duve, American Scientist, September-October 1995
“Questions about life’s origin are as old as Genesis and as young as each new morning. For scientists,
there are no definitive answers. But if no one has yet pinned down the secret, it hasn’t been for lack
of trying. Those investigating the origin of life are a rambunctious, scrappy group, in which no two
people see things quite the same way; and it doesn’t help that it’s awfully tough to prove or disprove
any particular contention…What were those first organic compounds? And how did they form? The
questions bedevil origin-of-life researchers. Over the years they have come up with a host of
imaginative and intensely debated possibilities.” – “How Did Life Start?,” by Peter Radetsky,
DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11, November 1992, Biology & Medicine
“Perhaps the most influential first surfaced four decades ago, when in a dramatic experiment a University
of Chicago graduate student named Stanley Miller simulated the creation of life in a
laboratory…And the simple experiment (It’s so easy to do--high school students now use it to win their
science fairs, Miller says) stimulated a rush of studies, with the result that a number of other organic
compounds, including adenine and guanine, two of the ingredients of RNA and DNA, were produced
by similar procedures…Thus emerged the picture that has dominated origin-of-life scenarios. Some 4
billion years ago, lightning (or another energy source, like ultraviolet light or heat) stimulated a
hydrogen-rich atmosphere to produce organic compounds, which then rained down into the
primitive ocean or other suitable bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, or even a warm little pond, as
Charles Darwin once suggested. Once there, these simple compounds, or monomers, combined with
one another to produce more complicated organics, or polymers, which gradually grew even more
complex until they coalesced into the beginnings of self-replicating RNA. With that came the RNA
world and ultimately the evolution into cells and the early bacterial ancestors of life. The picture is
powerful and appealing, but not all origin-of-life researchers are convinced. Even Miller throws up his
hands at certain aspects of it. The first step, making the monomers, that’s easy. We understand it pretty
well. But then you have to make the first self-replicating polymers. That’s very easy, he says, the
sarcasm fairly dripping. Just like it’s easy to make money in the stock market--all you have to do is buy
low and sell high. He laughs. Nobody knows how it’s done. Some would say the statement applies as
well to the first easy step, the creation of simple organic compounds.” – “How Did Life Start?,” by
Peter Radetsky, DISCOVER, Vol. 13 No. 11, November 1992, Biology & Medicine
G. Evolution on the Origin of Species: Introduction
i. In this segment, we turn to point 5, which defines the current status of
evolutionary theorization concerning the origin of species.
1. Current evolutionary theory on the origin of species was defined as
follows:
5) Although the production of a new or different organism from an existing organism occurs in steps that
are too subtle and slow to be observed directly and although the fossil record likewise contains no
intermediate or transitional forms, it is advanced that all the varieties of organisms on earth today are not
reproductively static, but came into being as generations of offspring from one original organism changed
over time into new and different types of organisms. Beneficial gene mutations are acknowledged to be the
only potential automatic, routine source for the arrival of these new types of organisms. The frequency of
beneficial mutations is acknowledged to be extremely rare. And although there are probability obstacles
concerning any theoretical beneficial mutation being passed on through reproduction and accumulating in
an order and association necessary for new functions to result, the arrival of every variety of organism,
every trait, structure, and organ, and every gene on the planet today are attributed to the automatic, routine
process of beneficial mutation.
112
2.
3.
4.
There are 2 crucial parts of this definitional statement that will need to
be established as acknowledged by evolutionary scientists and secular
sources.
a. One pertains to evidence
b. The other pertains to the explanatory mechanisms of
evolutionary theory itself.
We can also assess the theory of evolution on these 2 grounds.
a. First, does evolution have a mechanism capable of even
theoretically explaining and producing the origination of
species?
b. Second, does the observable evidence support the evolutionary
pillar that there is an overall, universal continuum in which
each species and even each different, general type of organism
emerged from those preceding it?
i. Or does the evidence indicate each different, general
type of organism exists in a static condition,
reproductively unrelated and isolated from one
another?
The centrality of theorization on the origin of species to the entire
theory of evolution.
a. Remember Darwin’s theory of evolution left out and did not
discuss the origin of life.
“The (from life), The origin of life, Hypotheses of origins – Although Darwin would not commit
himself on the origin of life, others subscribed to Hypothesis 4 more resolutely, notably the famous British
biologist T.H. Huxley in his Protoplasm, the Physical Basis of Life (1869), and the British physicist John
Tyndall in his “Belfast Address” of 1874...The primitive atmosphere – Darwin's attitude was: ‘It is
mere rubbish thinking at present of the origin of life; one might as well think of the origin of matter.’” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
i. Darwin’s theory was focused on and defined as a
theory of how different species come about.
ii. Darwin’s book publicizing this theory was titled, The
Origin of Species.
“Evolution, III DARWINIAN THEORY – A successful explanation of evolutionary processes was
proposed by Charles Darwin. His most famous book, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural
Selection (1859), is a landmark in human understanding of nature.” – "Evolution," Microsoft® Encarta®
Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Evolution, History of the theory of evolution – Darwin's theory. In 1858, Charles R. Darwin
presented a joint paper written by him and Alfred R. Wallace, another British naturalist, that proposed a
theory of evolution. This theory, in modified form, is accepted by almost every scientist today. It states
that all species evolved from a few common ancestors by means of natural selection. Darwin
developed the theory more thoroughly in his book, The Origin of Species (1859). The book became a
best-seller.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Alan R. Templeton, Ph.D., Rebstock Professor of Biology,
Washington University.
b.
Darwinian evolutionary theory originated as a focus on the
origin of species.
i. It wasn’t until after this that the origin of life began to
be included in the concept of biological evolution.
1. Within a decade after the publication of
Darwin’s theory on evolution, other
evolutionary authors began to include the
113
origin of life as part of the theory of
evolution.
“Life, The origin of life, Hypotheses of origins – Most of the hypotheses of the origin of life will fall
into one of four categories: ...[4] Life arose on the early Earth by a series of progressive chemical
reactions. Such reactions may have been likely or may have required one or more highly improbable
chemical events...Although Darwin would not commit himself on the origin of life, others subscribed
to Hypothesis 4 more resolutely, notably the famous British biologist T.H. Huxley in his Protoplasm,
the Physical Basis of Life (1869), and the British physicist John Tyndall in his “Belfast Address” of
1874. Although Huxley and Tyndall asserted that life could be generated from inorganic chemicals,
they had extremely vague ideas about how this might be accomplished.
2.
Consequently, modern evolutionary theory
has come to include the “origin” or
“formation” of life.
“Evolution – Evolution is a process of change over time. The word evolution may refer to various types
of change. For example, scientists generally describe the formation of the universe as having occurred
through evolution. Many astronomers think that the stars and planets evolved from a huge cloud of hot
gases. Anthropologists study the evolution of human culture from hunting and gathering societies to
complex, industrialized societies. Most commonly, however, evolution refers to the formation and
development of life on Earth. The idea that all living things evolved from simple organisms and
changed through the ages to produce millions of species is known as the theory of organic evolution.
Most people call it simply the theory of evolution.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Alan R. Templeton,
Ph.D., Rebstock Professor of Biology, Washington University.
ii. Despite the inclusion of the origin of life, the
changing of one species into another remains the
central, defining concept of evolution, just as it has
been since the beginning.
“Evolution – theory in biology postulating that the various types of animals and plants have their
origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in
successive generations. The theory of evolution is one of the fundamental keystones of modern
biological theory.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Evolution, Main ideas of evolutionary theory – The theory of evolution consists of a set of several
interrelated ideas. The basic idea states that species undergo changes in their inherited characteristics over
time. There are two main types of change in organic evolution: anagenesis and cladogenesis.
Anagenesis refers to changes that occur within a species over time. Because of anagenetic change, the
forms and traits of many species today differ from the forms and traits of their ancestors. Cladogenesis
refers to the splitting of one species into two or more descendant species. This branching process, also
called speciation, can be repeated to create many species. Current evolutionary theory holds that all
species evolved from a single form of life which lived more than 3 1/2 billion years ago. Over time,
repeated speciation events and anagenetic changes have produced the more than 10 million species
inhabiting Earth today.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Alan R. Templeton, Ph.D., Rebstock Professor of
Biology, Washington University.
c.
After Darwin’s Origin of Species was published, subsequent
major works and steps in the theory of evolution continued to
maintain focus on the origin of species.
i. This is exemplified in the development of the
mutation and synthetic theories of evolution.
1. In Darwin’s time, genetics were not
understood.
114
2.
This left Darwin without a mechanism to
explain the new traits and resulting changes
in a species.
“Evolution, III DARWINIAN THEORY – Thus, according to Darwin's theory, evolution proceeds by the
natural selection of well-adapted individuals over a span of many generations. The parts of Darwin's
theory that were the most difficult to test scientifically were the inferences about the heritability of
traits, or characteristics, because heredity was not understood at that time. The basic rules of
inheritance became known to science only at the turn of the century, when the earlier genetic work of
Gregor Mendel came to light.” – "Evolution," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998
Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Evolution, History of the theory of evolution – Darwin had observed that the characteristics of
organisms may change during the process of being passed on to offspring. However, he could not
explain how or why these changes took place because the principles of genetics were not yet known.
The genetic principles of variation and mutation filled this gap in Darwin's theory. Gregor Mendel,
an Austrian monk, had discovered the principles of genetics in the 1860's. Mendel's findings remained
unnoticed until the early 1900's, when the science of genetics was established.” – Worldbook,
Contributor: Alan R. Templeton, Ph.D., Rebstock Professor of Biology, Washington University.
ii. When Gregor Mendel’s studies in genetics were
“rediscovered,” this led to the new idea that genetic
mutation was the cause of evolutionary changes.
1. And this evolutionary theory became known
as mutationism.
“Evolution, History of evolutionary theory, Modern conceptions, The synthetic theory – The
rediscovery in 1900 of Mendel's theory of heredity, by Hugo de Vries of The Netherlands and others, led to
an emphasis on the role of heredity in evolution. De Vries proposed a new theory of evolution known as
mutationism, which essentially did away with natural selection as a major evolutionary process.
According to de Vries (joined by other geneticists such as William Bateson in England), there are two
kinds of variation that take place in organisms. One is the “ordinary” variability observed among
individuals of a species, which is of no lasting consequence in evolution because, according to de Vries,
it could not “lead to a transgression of the species border even under conditions of the most stringent
and continued selection.” The other consists of the changes brought about by mutations, spontaneous
alterations of genes that yield large modifications of the organism and gave rise to new species: “The new
species thus originates suddenly, it is produced by the existing one without any visible preparation
and without transition.”
iii. As discussion on the mechanisms for the origination
of new species continued, the synthetic theory of
evolution was developed.
1. The synthetic theory of evolution combined
Darwin’s natural selection mechanism with
the mechanism of mutation championed by
mutationism.
“Evolution, History of the theory of evolution – The synthetic theory was formulated during the 1930's
and 1940's by a number of scientists, including four American biologists-Sewall Wright, George G.
Simpson, Russian-born Theodosius Dobzhansky, and German-born Ernst W. Mayr-and two British
geneticists, Ronald A. Fisher and J. B. S. Haldane. Their theory synthesizes (combines) Darwin's theory
of natural selection with the principles of genetics and other sciences.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Alan
R. Templeton, Ph.D., Rebstock Professor of Biology, Washington University.
2.
115
Theodosius Dobzhansky, a main contributor
to synthetic evolution,
a.
b.
Wrote a book entitled, “Genetics
and the Origin of Species.”
This book exhibits that the focus of
evolutionary theory remained the
origin of species.
“Evolution, IV POPULATION GENETICS – Even while mutationism was replacing Darwinism, the
leading evolutionary theory, the science of population genetics was being founded by Sewall Wright, J. B.
S. Haldane, and several other geneticists, all working independently...Despite the mathematical support that
was developed for this view of evolution, most evolutionists adhered to the theory of evolution by random
mutations until the late 1930s. At that time Theodosius Dobzhansky, in Genetics and the Origin of
Species, extended the mathematical arguments with a wide range of experimental and observational
evidence.” – "Evolution," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All
rights reserved.
“Evolution, The synthetic theory – The main writers who, together with Dobzhansky, may be
considered the architects of the synthetic theory were the zoologists Ernst Mayr and Sir Julian Huxley,
the paleontologist George G. Simpson, and the botanist George Ledyard Stebbins. These researchers
contributed to a burst of evolutionary studies in the traditional biological disciplines and in some
emerging ones—notably population genetics and, later, evolutionary ecology. By 1950 acceptance of
Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection was universal among biologists, and the synthetic
theory had become widely adopted.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
d.
5.
The ongoing focus among evolutionists on identifying the
mechanisms for the origin of species demonstrates that the
origin of species has always been and still remains the core,
defining concept of evolutionary theory.
i. It was in the decades after the publication of
Darwin’s “The Origin of Species,” that the origin of
life quickly joined the origin of species as the 2 main
pillars of evolutionary theory,
Because of its position as the core of evolutionary theory, it is utterly
crucial for evolutionary view to have a very well-established and
thoroughly evidenced explanation on how species originate.
a. But, our definition of evolutionary theory reflected that
evolutionary theory does NOT have an explanation that is
either well-established or evidenced for how species originate.
i. As a result, this definition may at first seem
controversial and perhaps biased.
b. We will demonstrate that evolutionary theory does NOT have
a viable explanation using secular sources, evolutionary
scientists, and mainstream scientific magazines.
i. The definition will not in any way rely upon
creationist writings or characterizations of
evolutionary theory.
116
H. Evolution on the Origin of Species: Evolution’s Mechanisms
i. Our fifth definitional point for the theory of evolution addressed 2 critical issues,
which need to be established as objective fact rather than a mere biased
description.
1. First, does evolution have a mechanism capable of even theoretically
explaining and producing the origination of species?
2. Second, does the observable evidence support the evolutionary pillar
that there is an overall, universal continuum in which each species and
even each different, general type of organism emerged from those
preceding it?
ii. In this segment, we will address the issue of the mechanism for speciation
asserted by evolutionary theory.
1. We will also later discuss the second half of our definition where we
state that there are probability obstacles that strongly negate
evolutionary theories explanatory mechanism for speciation.
5) …Beneficial gene mutations are acknowledged to be the only potential automatic, routine source for the
arrival of these new types of organisms. The frequency of beneficial mutations is acknowledged to be
extremely rare. And although there are probability obstacles concerning any theoretical beneficial mutation
being passed on through reproduction and accumulating in an order and association necessary for new
functions to result, the arrival of every variety of organism, every trait, structure, and organ, and every gene
on the planet today are attributed to the automatic, routine process of beneficial mutation.
2.
(Note that while we are using the evolutionary term speciation, what
really is at issue isn’t how variations may occur within an existing type
of organism, but how new types of organisms originate.)
iii. Modern evolutionary theory maintains the position of synthetic evolution theory
that the 2 mechanisms for the origination of species are:
1. genetic mutation
2. natural selection
“Evolution, Causes of evolutionary change – Much evolutionary change results from the interaction of
two processes: (1) mutation and (2) natural selection. Mutation produces random (chance) variation
in the biological makeup of a species or a population-that is, individuals of the same species living in the
same area. Natural selection sorts out these random changes according to their value in enhancing the
individual's reproduction and survival.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Alan R. Templeton, Ph.D., Rebstock
Professor of Biology, Washington University.
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Evolution as a genetic function, The concept of natural selection
– Evolution can be seen as a two-step process. First, hereditary variation takes place; second,
selection is made of those genetic variants that will be passed on most effectively to the following
generations. Hereditary variation also entails two mechanisms: the spontaneous mutation of one variant
to another, and the sexual process that recombines those variants to form a multitude of variations.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
iv. How mutation and natural selection function in evolution theory
1. According to evolution theory, mutation is the only mechanism in
evolution that produces and increases genetic variety.
a. Without new variety becoming available you can’t get new
kinds of organisms to originate from previously existing
organisms.
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Evolution as a genetic function, The concept of natural selection
– The central argument of Darwin's theory of evolution starts from the existence of hereditary
variation.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
117
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Evolution as a genetic function, The origin of genetic variation:
mutations – Life originated about 3,500,000,000 years ago in the form of primordial organisms that were
very simple and very small. All living things have evolved from these lowly beginnings. At present
there are more than 2,000,000 known species, which are widely diverse in size, shape, and way of life, as
well as in the DNA sequences that contain their genetic information. What has produced the pervasive
genetic variation within natural populations and the genetic differences among species? There must be
some evolutionary means by which existing DNA sequences are changed and new sequences are
incorporated into the gene pools of species. The information encoded in the nucleotide sequence of DNA
is, as a rule, faithfully reproduced during replication, so that each replication results in two DNA
molecules that are identical to each other and to the parent molecule. But heredity is not a perfectly
conservative process; otherwise, evolution could not have taken place. Occasionally “mistakes,” or
mutations, occur in the DNA molecule during replication, so that daughter cells differ from the
parent cells in the sequence or in the amount of DNA.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Evolution as a genetic function, The origin of genetic variation:
mutations – The process of mutation provides each generation with many new genetic variations.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Evolution, Dynamics of genetic change, Processes of gene frequency change, Mutation – The allelic
variations that make evolution possible are generated by the process of mutation; but new mutations
change gene frequencies very slowly, since mutation rates are low.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004
Deluxe Edition
“Evolution, The process of evolution, The operation of natural selection in populations, Natural
selection as a process of genetic change – Hereditary variants, favourable or not to the organisms, arise
by mutation.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Evolution, Causes of evolutionary change – Only such mutations can introduce new hereditary
characteristics. For this reason, mutations are the building blocks of evolutionary change and of the
development of new species.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Alan R. Templeton, Ph.D., Rebstock Professor
of Biology, Washington University.
“Evolution, Causes of evolutionary change – Some mutations, however, help organisms adapt better
to their environment…This type of beneficial mutation provides the raw material for evolutionary
change.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Alan R. Templeton, Ph.D., Rebstock Professor of Biology,
Washington University.
“Evolution, Causes of evolutionary change – For natural selection to operate, two biological
conditions must be met. First, the individuals of a population must differ in their hereditary
characteristics...The second requirement for natural selection is that some inherited differences must affect
chances for survival and reproduction.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Alan R. Templeton, Ph.D., Rebstock
Professor of Biology, Washington University.
b.
2.
Mutation is a mechanism of addition.
i. Mutation is what causes new genes, genes that never
existed before, to form.
By contrast, natural selection does not add new genes or variety at all.
a. Natural selection simply takes the existing variety that was
created by mutation and decreases it.
i. Through natural selection individuals in the
population with less advantageous genes fail to
survive and reproduce.
ii. Over time, those non-advantageous genes are
removed from the population.
118
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Evolution as a genetic function, The concept of natural selection
– The central argument of Darwin's theory of evolution starts from the existence of hereditary variation.
Experience with animal and plant breeding demonstrates that variations can be developed that are “useful
to man.” So, reasoned Darwin, variations must occur in nature that are favourable or useful in some
way to the organism itself in the struggle for existence. Favourable variations are ones that increase
chances for survival and procreation. Those advantageous variations are preserved and multiplied from
generation to generation at the expense of less advantageous ones. This is the process known as
natural selection. The outcome of the process is an organism that is well adapted to its environment, and
evolution often occurs as a consequence.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Natural Selection – Natural Selection, in biology, the process by which environmental effects lead to
varying degrees of reproductive success among individuals of a population of organisms with different
hereditary characters, or traits. The characters that inhibit reproductive success decrease in
frequency from generation to generation. The resulting increase in the proportion of reproductively
successful individuals usually enhances the adaptation of the population to its environment.” – "Natural
Selection," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights
reserved.
“Evolution, V THE SYNTHETIC THEORY – Mutations are now known to be changes in the
position of a gene, or in the information coded in the gene, that can affect the function of the protein for
which the gene is responsible. Natural selection can then operate to favor or suppress a particular
gene according to how strongly its protein product contributes to the reproductive success of the
organism.” – "Evolution," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation.
All rights reserved.
“Evolution, Causes of evolutionary change – Much evolutionary change results from the interaction of
two processes: (1) mutation and (2) natural selection. Mutation produces random (chance) variation in
the biological makeup of a species or a population-that is, individuals of the same species living in the same
area. Natural selection sorts out these random changes according to their value in enhancing the
individual's reproduction and survival. Such selection ensures that variations that make individuals better
adapted to their environment will be passed on to future generations. At the same time, natural selection
eliminates variations that make individuals less able to survive.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Alan R.
Templeton, Ph.D., Rebstock Professor of Biology, Washington University.
“Evolution, The process of evolution, The operation of natural selection in populations, Natural
selection as a process of genetic change – Natural selection refers to any reproductive bias favouring
some genes or genotypes over others. Natural selection promotes the adaptation of organisms to the
environments in which they live; any hereditary variant that improves the ability to survive and
reproduce in an environment will increase in frequency over the generations, precisely because the
organisms carrying such a variant will leave more descendants than those lacking it. Hereditary variants,
favourable or not to the organisms, arise by mutation. Unfavourable ones are eventually eliminated by
natural selection; their carriers leave no descendants or leave fewer than those carrying alternative
variants.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
b.
Natural selection is a subtractive mechanism.
i. It does not add new genetic information or variety
ii. It eliminates the weaker or disadvantageous genetic
varieties from a population.
c. Natural selection works on variety that already exists in a
population.
v. Natural selection and our 2 theories (evolution and creationism)
1. But both theories include the mechanism of natural selection and agree
on its function of ensuring a strong population geared for survival in
the surrounding environment.
a. Natural selection is completely compatible with and accepted
by creationist theory.
119
i. Creationism asserts that each species was created
with an existing, very broad variety of genes and that
natural selection works on that existing gene pool.
1. (This function for natural selection in the
creationist model is outlined by the gene
pool illustrations in our expanded
commentary on creation theory.)
b. Evolutionists assert that each species emerges as new genes
are formed by the mechanism of mutation and that natural
selection then works on those new genes.
2. Proving natural selection has no bearing on which is a more viable
theory (evolution or creationism).
a. Because both theories acknowledge and incorporate natural
selection into their respective models…
i. The key question between evolution and creation
theory is NOT whether a mechanism exists, such as
natural selection, which will remove disadvantageous
genes and traits from a population in a particular
environment in order to keep that population as
survivable and strong as possible.
ii. Simply proving that natural selection occurs does
NOT do anything to support evolutionary theory over
creation theory.
3. Where the theories differ is on the source of the existing genetic
variety.
a. The origination of new species requires new genes.
i. New genetic material is the very substance of new
species (and new kinds of organisms).
ii. The only way to get new genetic material is by
mutation.
1. Natural selection cannot produce new genes
or new species (or new kinds of organisms).
a. Natural selection makes sure that
the new species that mutation
produces are ones that are fit for
survival.
b. But as such, natural selection only
limits the process to the production
of only survivable species.
c. Natural selection does not cause
this process.
vi. It is mutationa alone (not natural selection) that must be established as a viable,
efficient, and frequent enough occurrence to produce enough new genetic
material to produce new species and whole new types of organisms.
1. Without the production of new beneficial genetic material by mutation,
natural selection will only operate exactly as described in the creation
model.
a. (As outlined in the gene pool discussion during our expanded
commentary on creationism.)
2. In order for the origin of species to occur by evolution, mutation must
be a viable mechanism.
a. If mutation is not sufficient to produce enough new genetic
material that is beneficial, then evolutionary theory simply
does not have a working mechanism for the origination of
species (specifically new kinds of organisms) by automatic,
routine processes.
120
vii. Is mutation capable of producing new species (new kinds of organisms), and in
fact, for producing all of the species (kinds of organisms) that we see today?
1. Important related information.
a. There are over 2,000,000 (2 million) species that we know
about today and scientists estimate that there may be at least
10,000,000 to 30,000,000 (10-30 million) more left to be
discovered.
“Evolution – More than 2,000,000 existing species of plants and animals have been named and
described; many more remain to be discovered—from 10,000,000 to 30,000,000 according to some
estimates.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
2.
What secular and evolutionary sources state about the likelihood,
constraints, and efficiency of producing new genetic information and
new species (new kinds of organisms) by mutation.
a. First, mutations, in general, are rare.
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Evolution as a genetic function, The origin of genetic variation:
mutations – The information encoded in the nucleotide sequence of DNA is, as a rule, faithfully
reproduced during replication, so that ^each replication results in two DNA molecules that are
identical to each other and to the parent molecule. But heredity is not a perfectly conservative
process; otherwise, evolution could not have taken place. Occasionally “mistakes,” or mutations,
occur in the DNA molecule during replication, so that daughter cells differ from the parent cells in
the sequence or in the amount of DNA.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Evolution, XI MUTATIONS – Although the replication of DNA is very precise, it is not uniformly
perfect. Very rarely, changes occur in DNA during replication, and the new piece of DNA contains one
or more changed nucleotides. Such a change, known as a mutation, may take place in any part of the
DNA.” – "Genetics," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All
rights reserved.
“Evolution, Dynamics of genetic change, Processes of gene frequency change
Mutation – The allelic variations that make evolution possible are generated by the process of
mutation; but new mutations change gene frequencies very slowly, since mutation rates are low.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
b.
Second, because most mutations are harmful or neutral they
are removed by natural selection and cannot and do not
contribute to the origin of new species (or rather, new kinds of
organisms).
i. These mutations are removed by natural selection
because they either provide no advantage or provide
a disadvantage.
“Evolution, Causes of evolutionary change – Mutations occur regularly but are usually infrequent, and
most of them produce unfavorable traits…In most cases, such mutant genes are eliminated by
natural selection because most individuals that inherit them die before producing any offspring.” –
Worldbook, Contributor: Alan R. Templeton, Ph.D., Rebstock Professor of Biology, Washington
University.
“Evolution, XI MUTATIONS, A Gene Mutation – Most gene mutations are harmful to the organisms
that carry them; the function of a complex system such as a protein is more easily destroyed than
improved by a random change.” – "Genetics," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998
Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
121
“Evolution, XI MUTATIONS, B Chromosome Mutations – The substitution of one nucleotide for
another is not the only possible kind of mutation. Sometimes a nucleotide may be entirely lost or one
may be gained. In addition, more dramatic and obvious changes may occur, or the chromosomes
themselves may alter in form or number…Sometimes a piece of chromosome will be lost from one member
of a pair of homologous chromosomes and gained by the other member. One of the pair is then said to
have a deficiency and the other a duplication. Deficiencies are usually lethal in the homozygous
condition, and duplications are often so…Another kind of mutation occurs when a pair of
homologous chromosomes fails to separate at meiosis. This can produce gametes-and hence zygoteswith extra chromosomes and others with one or more chromosomes missing. Individuals with an extra
chromosome are known as trisomics, and those with a missing chromosome as monosomics. Both
conditions tend to result in severe disabilities.” – "Genetics," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. ©
1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Gene – Mutations occur when the number or order of bases in a gene is disrupted. Nucleotides can be
deleted, doubled, rearranged, or replaced, with each alteration having a particular effect. The mutation
generally has little or no effect; when it does alter an organism, the change is frequently lethal. A
beneficial mutation will rise in frequency within a population until it becomes the norm.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
c.
Third, in order to contribute to the origination of a new
species, a mutation must be beneficial (as opposed to harmful,
lethal, or neutral and irrelevant.)
“Evolution, Causes of evolutionary change – Some mutations, however, help organisms adapt better
to their environment…This type of beneficial mutation provides the raw material for evolutionary
change.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Alan R. Templeton, Ph.D., Rebstock Professor of Biology,
Washington University.
i. Mutations in general are rare.
1. Most mutations are harmful and neutral
mutations
2. Beneficial mutations are even more
infrequent than harmful or neutral
mutations.
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Evolution as a genetic function, The origin of genetic variation:
mutations, Gene mutations – The consequences of gene mutations may range from negligible to
lethal…Newly arisen mutations are more likely to be harmful than beneficial to their carriers, because
mutations are random events with respect to adaptation; that is, their occurrence is independent of any
possible consequences.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
a.
d.
Therefore, beneficial mutations are
the rarest kind of mutation.
b. (We will cover more on the rarity
of beneficial mutations below.)
Fourth, mutations are random and independent.
i. Their occurrence is not determined by or related to
any potential adaptive advantage, which would
constitute foresight and teleology.
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Evolution as a genetic function, The origin of genetic variation:
mutations, Gene mutations – …mutations are random events with respect to adaptation; that is, their
occurrence is independent of any possible consequences.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe
Edition
122
“Evolution, III DARWINIAN THEORY – The basic rules of inheritance became known to science
only at the turn of the century, when the earlier genetic work of Gregor Mendel came to light…The
discovery was then made that inheritable changes in genes, termed mutations, could occur
spontaneously and randomly without regard to the environment.” – "Evolution," Microsoft® Encarta®
Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
e.
ii. This severely limits the likelihood of getting a series
of mutations necessary to produce any new functional
structure or organ.
1. This is because such items are controlled by
more than one gene.
2. The arrival of even 2 new beneficial genes
that relate to one another in function is
highly improbable and indicative of
foresight and purposeful order in mutation.
Fifth, to contribute to the eventual production of a new
species, a mutation must occur in an organism that actually
produced fertile offspring, offspring which in turn, also
reproduced.
"Evolution, Causes of evolutionary change – If the parents produce a limited number of offspring,
some of their genes may not be passed on." – Worldbook, Contributor: Alan R. Templeton, Ph.D.,
Rebstock Professor of Biology, Washington University.
f.
Sixth, to contribute to the origin of species, mutation must
occur in the gametes of an organism.
i. Gametes are the reproductive cells of an organism.
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Evolution as a genetic function, The origin of genetic variation:
mutations, Chromosomal mutations – The reproductive cells (gametes) are an exception; they have
only half as many chromosomes as the body (somatic) cells.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe
Edition
g.
ii. If a mutation is not present in the reproductive cells,
it will not be passed on to the next generation and,
therefore, cannot contribute to the origin of a new
species.
Seventh, not all gametes contribute to an offspring.
i. To contribute to the origin of species, a mutation
must not only occur among the gametes in general
but the mutation must be present in the specific
individual gamete that participates in fertilization of
the next generation.
1. Chromosomes occur in pairs.
2. Each chromosome in a pair is different from
its counterpart because each chromosome in
a pair comes from a different parent.
"Chromosome, IV CHROMOSOME NUMBER – In the cells of most organisms that reproduce
sexually, chromosomes occur in pairs: one that is inherited from the female parent, and one that is
inherited from the male parent. The two chromosomes of each pair contain genetic information that
corresponds to the same inherited characteristics.” – "Chromosome," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia
99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
ii. Each gamete, or reproductive cell, has only 1 of the
chromosomes in the chromosome pair so that they
123
have half of the number of chromosomes found in
normal body cells.
1. In humans, for example, reproductive cells
have only 23 chromosomes, while normal
body cells have 46.
iii. When gametes combine with the gamete from the
other parent or gamete during fertilization, the newly
formed cell then has a full set of chromosomes, half
from each parent or gamete.
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Evolution as a genetic function, The origin of genetic variation:
mutations, Chromosomal mutations – The reproductive cells (gametes) are an exception; they have only
half as many chromosomes as the body (somatic) cells.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe
Edition
"Heredity, Sex cells and reproduction – Sexual reproduction generally involves two parents, each of
which contributes half the chromosomes to the offspring. Sexual reproduction starts with the production
of specialized sex cells that are called gametes. Gametes-that is, sperm, pollen grains, and eggs-are
produced in a process of cell division called meiosis. Meiosis results in the sex cells' having half the
number of chromosomes found in the body cells. In human beings, therefore, meiosis produces sperm
and egg cells that have 23 chromosomes each. In dogs, the number of chromosomes in each sex cell is
39. The uniting of an egg cell and a sperm cell, called fertilization, restores the full number of
chromosomes. In human beings, the resulting cell, known as a fertilized egg, has 46 chromosomes, 23
pairs. One chromosome of each pair comes from the mother's egg, and the other from the father's
sperm." - Worldbook, Contributors: Philip W. Hedrick, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, Arizona State
University, Robert F. Weaver, Ph.D., Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor,
Department of Molecular Biosciences, University of Kansas.
iv. This removal of one of the chromosomes in a
chromosome pair during the formation of the gametes
occurs, not just in animals, but in most plants as well.
“Reproductive system, plant – Reproduction in plants is basically either asexual or sexual. Asexual
reproduction in plants involves a variety of widely disparate methods for creating new plants identical in
every respect to the parent. Sexual reproduction, on the other hand, depends on a complex series of basic
cellular events, involving chromosomes and their genes, that take place within an elaborate sexual
apparatus evolved precisely for the creation of new plants in some respects different from the two
parents that played a role in their production…General features of sexual systems – In most plant
groups both sexual and asexual methods of reproduction occur. Some species, however, seem
secondarily to have lost the capacity for sexual reproduction. Such cases are described below (see
Variations in reproductive cycles).” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
v. Evolutionary scientists estimate that mutations in
general (not specifically the rarer beneficial
mutations) only occur in 1 out of 100,000 gametes to
1 out of 1,000,000 gametes.
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Evolution as a genetic function, The origin of genetic variation:
mutations, Gene mutations – Mutation rates have been measured in a great variety of organisms,
mostly for mutants that exhibit conspicuous effects. Mutation rates are generally lower in bacteria and other
microorganisms than in more complex species. In humans and other multicellular organisms, the rate
typically ranges from about one per 100,000 to one per 1,000,000 gametes.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica
2004 Deluxe Edition
vi. This means that the odds against any gamete with a
mutation being involved in fertilization are typically
124
h.
between 100,000 or even 1 million to one in
multicellular organisms.
1. The likelihood is even lower for beneficial
mutations.
vii. Therefore, even if a mutation gives an organism
survival advantage or reproductive advantage, that
mutation will not pass on to the next generation and
contribute to the origin of species unless it is on the
actual chromosome from the chromosome pair that
actually makes it into the specific gamete, which
fertilized to form the offspring.
Eighth, mutations are usually recessive and, consequently, do
not manifest until or unless the other parent or other gamete
also possesses the same mutation.
“Evolution, XI MUTATIONS, A Gene Mutation – Mutations are usually recessive, and their harmful
effects are not expressed unless two of them are brought together into the homozygous condition.
This is most likely to occur as a result of inbreeding, the mating of closely related organisms that may
have inherited the same recessive mutant gene from a common ancestor.” – "Genetics," Microsoft®
Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
i.
i. Since most mutations are recessive and therefore will
not manifest…
1. They will not produce an advantage to the
organism
2. Consequently, they are likely to be removed
by natural selection rather than being passed
on to contribute to the origin of a new
species.
Ninth, new genes, even beneficial ones, will be removed by
natural selection unless there is an accompanying change to
the environment.
“VI SPECIATION – Because all the established genes in a population have been monitored for
fitness by selection, newly arisen mutations are unlikely to enhance fitness unless the environment
changes so as to favor the new gene activity, as in the gene for dark color in the peppered moth. Novel
genes that cause large changes rarely promote fitness and are usually lethal. The genes already
established by selection are carefully adjusted to one another so their biochemical effects are
coordinated.” – "Evolution," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation.
All rights reserved.
i. Any new genes which are recessive and, therefore, do
not actually manifest an advantage in the
environment, are not going to contribute to the origin
of species (or new kinds of organisms).
ii. This means that lightning must strike in the same
place twice.
iii. Since mutations are recessive, in order to manifest
and thereby contribute to the origination of a new
species and avoid removal by natural selection, the
following would have to occur…
1. Although providing no competitive
advantage because it does not manifest, a
beneficial mutation would need to avoid
elimination by natural selection for enough
generations that the particular mutation
125
would be distributed sufficiently throughout
the population to the extent that two
individuals mate, which were both carrying
the mutation
2. A beneficial mutation would need to avoid
elimination long enough for the recessive
mutation to by chance end up in the
particular gametes that fertilized the next
generation.
iv. Only in this way could a generation arrive in which
the beneficial mutation would manifest in an
individual organism with only the 2 recessive
mutated genes.
viii. Conclusions about mutation as a mechanism for producing new kinds of
organisms
1. The above 9 facts dramatically inhibit the possibility of beneficial
mutation producing new species.
2. Those factors can be summarized as follows.
a. (The quotes in the summary below represent statements taken
directly from the excerpts above.)
b. First, “DNA is, as a rule, faithfully reproduced during
replication,” and consequently mutations are “very rare.”
c. Second, “gene mutations may range from negligible to lethal”
so that “mutation generally has little or no effect; when it does
alter an organism, the change is frequently lethal.”
d. Third, as such, in order to contribute to the origination of a
species, a mutation must be beneficial, adding an
advantageous function rather than removing or harming
existing functions.
i. It is “beneficial mutation” that “provides the raw
material for evolutionary change.”
e. Fourth, “mutations are random events…their occurrence is
independent of any possible consequences” and “without
regard to the environment.”
i. As such, to the extent that multiple genes are required
for a new trait, structure, or organ, gene mutations are
not likely to occur conveniently all at once or in the
sequence necessary for development.
f. Fifth, “If the parents produce a limited number of offspring,
some of their genes may not be passed on."
i. Consequently, to contribute to the origin of a new
species, the mutation must occur in an individual
organism that actually produces new offspring.
g. Sixth, to contribute to the origin of a new species, the mutation
must occur in the gametes, the reproductive cells of the
organism.
h. Seventh, to contribute to the origin of a new species, the
mutation must actually be present in the exact gamete that
participates in fertilization.
i. Eighth, “Mutations are usually recessive,” and, therefore,
whether beneficial or harmful, their “effects are not expressed
unless two of them are brought together” during fertilization.
i. This means that both gametes from both parents have
to posses the exact same mutation.
ii. If this does not occur, no advantage will be
manifested by the new gene, and as such, natural
126
I.
selection will work to eliminate the new gene from
the population.
j. Ninth, “newly arisen mutations are unlikely to enhance fitness
unless the environment changes so as to favor the new gene
activity”
i. As a result, without a change to the environment, any
new gene, even a beneficial one, is going to be
eliminated by natural selection.
3. All of these factors, particularly when considered collectively, indicate
that the prospect of new species (new kinds of organisms) originating
by beneficial mutation is untenable.
a. Consider the improbability of a mutation occurring…
i. that is neither harmful or negligible but beneficial,
ii. in an organism that survives long enough to
reproduce,
iii. makes it to the gametes,
iv. ends up in the gamete that participates in fertilization,
v. is present through this process in the other parent or
gamete involved in reproduction,
vi. in right genes in the right order to develop structures
and organs that are controlled by multiple genes,
vii. simultaneously with a corresponding change in the
environment at just the right time
4. The idea of mutation as the mechanism for evolution theory’s
origination of different kinds of organisms defies probability.
a. Even if such a series of events did happen to coincide, the
unlikelihood of each step and the further unlikelihood of all
the steps would indicate the presence of foresight and
teleological orchestration.
5. Add to this that in order to account for all of the genetic variety that is
produced in every living organism that exists today within 3.8 billion
years this highly improbably series of coincidences must have repeated
over and over again quite frequently.
Evolution on the Origin of Species: Evidence and the Rate of Speciation
i. Review
1. In the beginning of this segment on “Evolution and the Origin of
Species,” we stated that there were 2 crucial parts of our definitional
statement that would need to be established as acknowledged by
evolutionary scientists and secular sources
a. One of these crucial parts pertained to evidence
b. The other pertained to the explanatory mechanisms of
evolutionary theory itself.
2. Pertaining to the mechanism of speciation – beneficial mutation
a. Given the criteria and probabilities by secular and
evolutionary sources, we concluded that beneficial mutation
simply is not a tenable mechanism for the origin of species.
3. Focusing on the observable evidence in the fossil record to see what
support might be found in it for evolution’s general theory of
speciation.
a. (We have already seen that evolution’s mechanism for
speciation isn’t at all sufficient.)
b. But is there evidence that speciation has occurred as evolution
states?
c. The evidence from the fossil record further indicates that
evolution is effectively without a coherent theory on the
127
subject of speciation (and the origin of new kinds of
organisms).
ii. This segment will be broken down to address 3 fundamental issues:
1. 1) What present observation and the fossil record cannot show,
2. 2) What present observation and the fossil record do not show,
3. 3) What present observation and the fossil record do show.
4. (All 3 of these issues directly relate to whether or not the evolutionary
origin of species is falsifiable, and therefore, whether or not it is
scientific.)
iii. $$$$ What the fossil record cannot show
1. Recall a fundamental requirement of the scientific method that in order
to be considered “truly scientific” a theory has to be at least falsifiable
in principle by empirical evidence.
a. As we also noted, empiricism is…
i. the “philosophical outlook of most scientists”
ii. the idea that “beliefs are to be accepted only if they
have been confirmed by actual experience.”
“Empiricism – a philosophical approach that views experience as the most important source of
knowledge. It is the philosophical outlook of most scientists.” – Worldbook Encyclopedia, Contributor:
W. W. Bartley, III, Ph.D., Former Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and
Peace, Stanford University.
“Empiricism – in philosophy, the attitude that beliefs are to be accepted and acted upon only if they
first have been confirmed by actual experience.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Science – A theory developed by a scientist cannot be accepted as part of scientific knowledge until it
has been verified by the studies of other researchers. In fact, for any knowledge to be truly scientific,
it must be repeatedly tested experimentally and found to be true. This characteristic of science sets it
apart from other branches of knowledge. For example, the humanities, which include religion,
philosophy, and the arts, deal with ideas about human nature and the meaning of life. Such ideas cannot be
scientifically proved. There is no test that tells whether a philosophical system is "right." No one can
determine scientifically what feeling an artist tried to express in a painting. Nor can anyone perform an
experiment to check for an error in a poem or a symphony.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Joseph W.
Dauben, Ph.D., Professor of History and the History of Science, City University of New York.
“Empiricism, Criticism and evaluation, Criticism and evaluation – One important philosopher of
science, Karl Popper, has rejected the inductivism that views the growth of empirical knowledge as the
result of a mechanical routine of generalization. To him it is falsifiability by experience that makes a
statement empirical.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Science, philosophy of, Historical development, The 20th-century debate: Positivists versus
historians – Meanwhile, the qualified Realism of Planck and Hertz was carried further by such men as
Norman Campbell, an English physicist known for his sharpening of the distinction between laws and
theories, and Karl Popper, an Austro-English philosopher recognized for his theory of falsifiability,
both of whose views reflect the explicit methodology of many working scientists today.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Positivism, Logical Positivism and Logical Empiricism, The earlier Positivism of Viennese heritage,
The verifiability criterion of meaning and its offshoots – It was in coming to this juncture in his critique
of Positivism that Karl Popper, an Austro-English philosopher of science, in his Logik der Forschung
(1935; The Logic of Scientific Discovery, 1959), insisted that the meaning criterion should be
abandoned and replaced by a criterion of demarcation between empirical (scientific) and
transempirical (nonscientific, metaphysical) questions and answers—a criterion that, according to
Popper, is to be testability, or, in his own version, falsifiability; i.e., refutability. Popper was impressed
by how easy it is to supposedly verify all sorts of assertions—those of psychoanalytic theories seemed to
128
him to be abhorrent examples. But the decisive feature, as Popper saw it, should be whether it is in
principle conceivable that evidence could be cited that would refute (or disconfirm) a given law,
hypothesis, or theory.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
2.
We will focus on how the scientific criteria of falsifiability and
empiricism apply to the evolutionary theory that each type of plant or
animal today came from previous distinct and different types of
organisms.
“Evolution – theory in biology postulating that the various types of animals and plants have their
origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in
successive generations. The theory of evolution is one of the fundamental keystones of modern
biological theory.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
a.
In evolutionary theory, the process of a new species emerging
takes thousands of generations and thousands of years.
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Evolution as a genetic function, The origin of genetic variation:
mutations, Gene mutations – Mutation rates have been measured in a great variety of organisms, mostly
for mutants that exhibit conspicuous effects. Mutation rates are generally lower in bacteria and other
microorganisms than in more complex species. In humans and other multicellular organisms, the
rate typically ranges from about one per 100,000 to one per 1,000,000 gametes.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
3.
The process of speciation takes too long to be observed actually
occurring.
a. 2 alternative evolutionary views on the rate and process of
speciation both assert timeframes that are much longer than
any human being could observe (or has even been observing)
i. Punctuated Equilibrium
1. The shortest potential time scale for the
transformation of one species into another is
thousands of years.
“Evolution, VIII CURRENT EVOLUTIONARY DEBATE - For this reason, in part, a number of
evolutionists-most notably Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard University and Niles Eldredge of the American
Museum of Natural History-have proposed a variant concept of "punctuated equilibria" for species
evolution. According to this concept, species do in fact tend to remain stable for long periods of time
and then to change relatively abruptly-or rather, to be replaced suddenly by newer and more
successful forms. These sudden changes are the "punctuations" in the state of equilibrium that give
this concept its name. Although these proposed periods of rapid change would be abrupt only in terms
of the geological time scale and would actually occur over periods of thousands of years, most
evolutionists tend to consider the punctuated-equilibrium concept only another possible mode of
evolutionary change that could take place along with the processes described by the modern synthesis,
rather than as a supplanting model for evolution theory.” – Worldbook, "Evolution," Microsoft® Encarta®
Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
ii. Gradualist Evolution
1. The alternative to punctuated equilibrium.
2. Asserts that transformations take even
longer than thousands of years.
“Gould, Stephen Jay – Unlike the gradualist theory, which would have species evolve gradually over
long periods of time, the punctuated equilibrium theory holds that the evolution of a species consists
of rapid changes in small, relatively isolated populations, followed by long periods of stability.” – "Gould,
129
Stephen Jay," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights
reserved.
b.
The process and evolution of new species is so slow and so
gradual that is impossible to detect.
i. In a debate with creationist Dr. Kent Hovind, Wayne
State University evolutionary biologist Dr. William
Moore stated that the process of decent is so slow,
subtle, and “insensibly distinct” that it cannot
actually be observed even in principle.
“This is why evolutionary biologists have a difficult time defining species. There are these intermediate
situations…It is by a process of descent with modification through insensibly distinct intermediate
forms. It’s a continuum. And as I mentioned earlier that’s the problem with defining species...” –
Evolutionary Biologist Dr. William Moore, “The History of Life: Creation or Evolution?” Debate: Dr.
Kent Hovind vs. Dr. William Moore at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, Creation Science
Evangelism, Pensacola, FL, www.drdino.com, Windows Media Video
ii. Britannica Encyclopedia also acknowledges that the
inability to detect when speciation has occurred is a
fact of evolutionary theory.
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Species and speciation, The concept of species – It is, then, clear
that…individuals of a species are able to interbreed with one another but not with members of other
species…Although the criterion for deciding whether individuals belong to the same species is clear,
there may be ambiguity in practice for two reasons…The other reason for ambiguity is rooted in the
nature of evolution as a gradual process…Since the process is gradual, there is not a particular point
at which it is possible to say that the two populations have become two different species.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
4.
5.
6.
If the process of evolution is undetectable what does the evidence
show?
a. We cannot observe the actual transition of one type of plant or
animal into a new, distinct type.
b. We can only observe…
i. The presence of different existing types of plants and
animals that already cannot interbreed.
ii. All that we can actually observe is static lineages of
organisms that already cannot interbreed.
We cannot observe speciation today, but we should be able to observe
evidence for evolution in the fossil record.
a. While evolution takes too long for any human to observe its
occurrence, in evolutionary theory the fossil record spans the
history of the earth.
b. In principle then, there is a “recording” that has been going on
long enough to “record” evolution and allow us to see what
happened over periods of time that are longer than human
beings actually live.
Possible indications of evolution in the fossil record
a. There are only 2 ways to identify distinct species:
i. distinct form (also known as morphology)
1. The term “morphology” simply refers to
“the form and structure of an organism or
any of its parts.”
130
“Morphology – 1a: a branch of biology that deals with the form and structure of animals and plants b:
the form and structure of an organism or any of its parts.” – Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary
7.
ii. the inability to interbreed.
The fossil record cannot show evidence for the evolution of different
species using morphology and the ability to interbreed.
a. The fossil record only shows gross morphological structure
i. However, organisms with the same morphology may
not be of the same species.
1. Species that can no longer interbreed “are
often morphologically indistinguishable”
from one another in the fossil record.
ii. The fossil record simply does not provide any
information regarding whether two organisms could
or did interbreed.
1. This problem of demonstrating speciation
from the fossil record is considered
“insuperable” meaning that this problem
simply cannot be solved.
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Patterns and rates of species evolution, Reconstruction of
evolutionary history, Gradual and punctuational evolution – Species are groups of interbreeding
natural populations that are reproductively isolated from any other such groups. Speciation involves,
therefore, the development of reproductive isolation between populations previously able to
interbreed… Paleontologists recognize species by their different morphologies as preserved in the fossil
record, but fossils cannot provide evidence of the development of reproductive isolation because new
species that are reproductively isolated from their ancestors are often morphologically
indistinguishable from them…This situation creates an insuperable difficulty for resolving the
question whether morphological evolution is always associated with speciation events. If speciation is
defined as the evolution of reproductive isolation, the fossil record provides no evidence of a
necessary association between speciation and morphological change.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004
Deluxe Edition
iii. The fossil record only shows external morphological
structure, it cannot reveal any potential changes that
might have been taking place in the “genetic
makeup” of the overall organism.
“Evolution, VIII CURRENT EVOLUTIONARY DEBATE – Fossils primarily show gross
morphological changes, whereas changes taking place in genetic makeup could be extensive even
though overall body structures do not reveal these shifts in populations of species.” – "Evolution,"
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
b.
These limitations simply make it impossible to use the fossil
record to determine whether or not organisms that look alike
in terms of form or structure were different species or even in
the process of becoming different species.
i. Therefore, “the small changes that would make up
gradual evolutionary development” are not “of a
nature that would be apparent in the fossil history of
a species.”
“Evolution, VIII CURRENT EVOLUTIONARY DEBATE – In addition, the small changes that
would make up gradual evolutionary development according to the modern synthesis are themselves
not necessarily of a nature that would be apparent in the fossil history of a species, however complete
131
it might be over a given stretch of time.” – "Evolution," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 19931998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
8.
Even in principle, the fossil record cannot by definintion show us
evidence of new species evolving from earlier species.
a. The buildup of new genetic material and the inability to
reproduce are evolution’s defining marks of speciation
b. But the fossil record cannot reveal…
i. the genetic buildup of beneficial mutations necessary
for speciation,
ii. whether or not organisms that have the same basic
structure could interbreed,
iii. whether or not organisms of slightly different size
and shape might be able to interbreed.
c. Any changes are either so small or so undetectable that they
escape the fossil record just as much as they inherently evade
observation today.
9. If the evolution of species cannot be observed today or in the fossil
record…
a. How is the theory of the evolution of species falsifiable?
b. How can the theory of the evolution of species possibly be
confirmed?
c. How can the theory of the evolution of species be
disconfirmed, disproved, or falsified even in principle if it is
of such a nature that there will be no way to observe it even in
a fossil record of billions of years?
d. What possible evidence could there conceivably ever be that
could falsify a theory that by its very nature escapes detection
and recording in the observable evidence?
10. Conclusions on what the fossil record cannot show us.
a. The theory of the evolution of species is beyond detection,
beyond either confirmation or disconfirmation by the available
evidence, and therefore is, unfalsifiable, which relegates this
theory to the realm of the unscientific.
iv. What present observation and the fossil record does not show us.
1. The evolutionary community acknowledges that the fossil record does
not contain transitional forms showing one species or kind of organism
in transition to becoming another.
a. If the fossil record is taken to be a record of biological history
on earth, then the fossil record actually records that there were
no transitional forms where the actual evolution from one
species or kind to another is taking place.
2. This fact has begun a debate of 2 alternative views – punctuated
equilibrium and gradualism.
a. In both views, the evolutionary theory of speciation is
constructed in such a way as to evade any potential
falsification by observable.
b. The two alternate views on speciation within the evolutionary
community center on exactly how evolutionary speciation
occurs in the real world…
i. does it happen slowly and gradually?
1. Gradualism asserts the position of slow,
gradual changes.
ii. does it happen more all-at-once in quick, shorter
bursts?
132
“Fossil, IV LEARNING FROM FOSSILS, A Evolution – The fossil record suggests that evolution
may have progressed at different rates-sometimes gradually, and at other times in short bursts…This
is difficult to prove, however, because sedimentation is rarely continuous over long periods of time.” –
"Fossil," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
1.
3.
Punctuated equilibrium asserts the position
of quick, large-scale changes
c. Understanding a few facts about the fossil record will explain
the reasoning behind these 2 evolutionary views.
Gaps in the fossil record
a. There are gaps in the fossil record.
b. The fossil record is divided up into strata.
i. Where one stratum meets the strata above or below it,
there is estimated to be tens of thousands of years of
history that is unrecorded between any 2 strata.
“Evolution, Patterns and rates of species evolution, Reconstruction of evolutionary history, Gradual
and punctuational evolution – The fossil record indicates that morphological evolution is by and large a
gradual process. Major evolutionary changes are usually due to a building up over the ages of relatively
small changes. But the fossil record is discontinuous. Fossil strata are separated by sharp boundaries;
accumulation of fossils within a geologic deposit (stratum) is fairly constant over time, but the transition
from one stratum to another may involve gaps of tens of thousands of years.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
c.
d.
The strata themselves (where fossils are found) contain no
transitional forms between species and kinds of organisms
i. (For an illustration of how the fossil record works in
evolutionary theory as described in the numerous
quotes below, please see Speciation and the Fossil
Record Figure 1.)
Evolutionists know that there are no transitional forms in the
fossil record.
i. Darwin understood from the onset of the theory of
evolution that the transitional forms are not in the
fossil record.
“Intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduate organic chain; and
this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory [of
evolution].” – Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, p. 323 (Cited on “A Question of Origins,” Roger
Oakland, Eternal Productions, Copyright 1998, www.creationscience.com, 43 minutes)
ii. The absence of transitional forms, intermediates, or
“missing links” in the fossil record in the fossil
record continues to be a recognized fact among
evolutionists today.
1. Transitional forms are the “missing links”
where one species or kind of organism is
literally turning into another and actually
appears somewhere between the two.
“Both the origin of life and the origin of the major groups of animals remain unknown…” – Alfred G.
Fisher, evolutionist, Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, 1998, fossil section (Cited on “A Question of
Origins,” Roger Oakland, Eternal Productions, Copyright 1998, www.creationscience.com, 51 minutes, 50
seconds)
133
e.
Evolutionary theorists still do not have an agreed-upon,
working explanation for why there are no transitional forms in
the fossil record.
“Evolution, VIII CURRENT EVOLUTIONARY DEBATE – Because understanding of the actual
evolutionary events that took place over earth's long history depends largely on interpretations of an
incomplete fossil record, much latitude remains for differences in such interpretations. One of the issues
that is currently being debated among theorists derives from a notable fact observed in the fossil
record. That is, when a new species appears in the record it usually does so abruptly and then
apparently remains stable for as long as the record of that species lasts. The fossils do not seem to
exhibit the slow and gradual changes that might be expected according to the modern synthesis.” –
"Evolution," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights
reserved.
i. Attempts to explain the absense of transitional forms
in the fossil record has resulted in the punctuated
equilibrium view and the gradualist view.
1. Notice the statement below that…
a. there are “discontinuities between
the fossil record and the Darwinian
theory of evolution”
“Eldredge, Niles – American paleontologist who, with fellow paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould,
developed the theory of punctuated equilibrium, which states that evolutionary changes occur in
relatively short, abrupt bursts after long periods in which few changes take place…After several
analyses of the trilobite fossil record, Eldredge concluded that trilobites evolved in short, concentrated
bursts, rather than the gradual and continuous change predicted by Charles Darwin in his theory of
evolution. In 1972 Eldredge collaborated with Gould to publish the theory of punctuated equilibrium,
which attempts to reconcile the discontinuities between the fossil record and the Darwinian theory of
evolution. In his theory of punctuated equilibrium, Eldredge postulates that species remain unchanged
for hundreds of thousands of years, only to be abruptly replaced by newer and more successful
forms-sporadic changes that appear as "punctuation" in the fossil record.” – "Eldredge, Niles,"
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Gould, Stephen Jay – He taught at Harvard University from 1967. Gould (with Niles Eldredge of the
American Museum of Natural History) originated the "punctuated equilibrium" theory of evolution, a
theory based on the fact that very few transitional forms are found in the fossil record. Unlike the
gradualist theory, which would have species evolve gradually over long periods of time, the
punctuated equilibrium theory holds that the evolution of a species consists of rapid changes in small,
relatively isolated populations, followed by long periods of stability.” – "Gould, Stephen Jay,"
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
ii. The absence of transitional forms in the fossil record
poses problems for the gradualist evolutionary view
which predicts that changes are constant, slow, and
gradual.
1. If this were the case, constant, gradual
intermediate forms should have made it into
the fossil record.
2. But they are not and instead, organisms
remain unchanging, rather than evolving, in
the fossil record.
iii. On account of this discrepancy, or “discontinuity” as
Encarta describes it, the theory of punctuated
equilibrium was formulated to explain why the fossil
134
record is a record of organisms that don’t transition
from one to the next.
1. According to punctuated equilibrium…
a. evolution has escaped recording in
the fossil record because it does not
happen slowly, constantly, and
gradually as traditionally theorized,
but instead happens abruptly, with
major changes occurring in brief
time periods that are too short to be
recorded in the fossil record.
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Patterns and rates of species evolution, Reconstruction of
evolutionary history, Gradual and punctuational evolution – Some paleontologists have proposed
that the discontinuities of the fossil record are not artifacts created by gaps in the record, but rather
reflect the true nature of morphological evolution, which happens in sudden bursts associated with
the formation of new species.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Evolution, VIII CURRENT EVOLUTIONARY DEBATE – That is, when a new species appears in
the record it usually does so abruptly and then apparently remains stable for as long as the record of
that species lasts. The fossils do not seem to exhibit the slow and gradual changes that might be expected
according to the modern synthesis. For this reason, in part, a number of evolutionists-most notably
Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard University and Niles Eldredge of the American Museum of Natural
History-have proposed a variant concept of ‘punctuated equilibria’ for species evolution. According
to this concept, species do in fact tend to remain stable for long periods of time and then to change
relatively abruptly-or rather, to be replaced suddenly by newer and more successful forms. These
sudden changes are the ‘punctuations’ in the state of equilibrium that give this concept its name.” –
"Evolution," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights
reserved.
b.
c.
“morphological evolution” is
“jerky”
evolution occurs on 2 levels
i. First, the continuous
aspect of evolution is only
on the genetic level, where
it cannot be detected,
particularly in the fossil
record.
ii. Second, the actual visible,
morphological change in
structure occurs quickly,
in events that are too rapid
to be recorded in the fossil
record.
“Evolution, Patterns and rates of species evolution, Reconstruction of evolutionary history, Gradual
and punctuational evolution – The proponents of the punctuated equilibrium model propose not only
that morphological evolution is jerky but also that it is associated with speciation events. They argue
that phyletic evolution—that is, evolution along lineages of descent—proceeds at two levels. First, there
is continuous change through time within a population. This consists largely of gene substitutions
prompted by natural selection, mutation, genetic drift, and other genetic processes that operate at the level
of the individual organism. The punctualists maintain that this continuous evolution within established
lineages rarely, if ever, yields substantial morphological changes in species. Second, they say, there is
the process of origination and extinction of species, in which most morphological change occurs.
According to the punctualist model, evolutionary trends result from the patterns of origination and
135
extinction of species rather than from evolution within established lineages.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
4.
5.
Punctuated equilibrium is really an attempt to explain…
a. Why no evidence for evolution can be found in the fossil
record even in principle
b. Why all of the actual transitioning and transitional forms
necessary for evolution to occur are not present in the
recorded biological history that we call the fossil record.
Falsifiability and the 2 views
a. Gradualism, the traditional established evolutionary view, is…
i. falsifiable and
ii. falsified by “discontinuities” (i.e. discrepancies) it
has with the fossil record
b. Punctuated equilibrium…
i. Solves this falsification by the evidence presented in
the fossil record by becoming unfalsifiable
ii. Places evolutionary theory outside the realm of
falsifiabity, and subsequently outside the realm of
science.
c. In the mainstream of evolutionary scientists, neither side,
neither gradualism or punctuated equilibrium, escapes the
criticisms of falsification and un-falsifiability.
i. This is because most evolutionary scientists have
accepted a version of evolutionary theory that merges
gradualism and punctuated equilibrium together,
asserting that both occur depending on the
circumstances.
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Patterns and rates of species evolution, Reconstruction of
evolutionary history, Gradual and punctuational evolution –Intensive study of a favourable and
abundant set of fossils may be expected to substantiate punctuated or gradual evolution in particular cases.
But the argument is not about whether only one or the other pattern ever occurs; it is about their
relative frequency. Some paleontologists argue that morphological evolution is in most cases gradual
and only rarely jerky, whereas others think the opposite is true.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004
Deluxe Edition
“Evolution, VIII CURRENT EVOLUTIONARY DEBATE – Although these proposed periods of rapid
change would be abrupt only in terms of the geological time scale and would actually occur over periods of
thousands of years, most evolutionists tend to consider the punctuated-equilibrium concept only
another possible mode of evolutionary change that could take place along with the processes described
by the modern synthesis, rather than as a supplanting model for evolution theory.” – "Evolution,"
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
ii. Evolutionary scientists further admit that there is no
way to resolve this debate and decide which of the 2
evolutionary theories is correct.
“Evolution, VIII CURRENT EVOLUTIONARY DEBATE – The very incompleteness of the fossil
record does not permit any such clear choice to be made, because the record of almost any species is
highly selective over geological time. In addition, the small changes that would make up gradual
evolutionary development according to the modern synthesis are themselves not necessarily of a
nature that would be apparent in the fossil history of a species, however complete it might be over a
given stretch of time. Fossils primarily show gross morphological changes, whereas changes taking
place in genetic makeup could be extensive even though overall body structures do not reveal these shifts in
populations of species. Arguments from the known nature of small-scale evolutionary change do not,
136
in fact, necessarily establish long-term evolutionary events, as following either the model proposed by
the modern synthesis or the one proposed by punctuated equilibrium. Evolution may just as well have
proceeded along both routes.” – "Evolution," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998
Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
^
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Patterns and rates of species evolution, Reconstruction of
evolutionary history, Gradual and punctuational evolution – Whether morphological evolution in the
fossil record is predominantly punctuational or gradual is a much debated question. The imperfection of
the record makes it unlikely that the issue will be settled in the foreseeable future.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
d.
The fact that evolutionary theory will never be able to
determine from the evidence which of these 2 views is correct
inherently leaves evolution without a working theory for the
origin of species.
6. Conclusion on what present observation and the fossil record do not
show.
a. Present observation and the fossil record do not show or reveal
any detectable transitional forms where one species or kind of
animal is turning into another.
v. What present observation and the fossil record do show.
1. Present observation and the fossil record…
a. Cannot show the evolution of species occurring
b. Do not show any transitional forms in which one species or
kind of animal is transitioning into another
2. Present observation and the fossil record do show…
a. That new species and forms appear suddenly without the
gradual, transitioning precursors predicted and necessitated by
evolutionary theory
b. That species are static and “stable,” “remaining unchanged”
(unevolving) for the entire time they appear in the fossil
record.
“Earth, geologic history of, Time scales – As was explained earlier, at specific stratigraphic boundaries
certain types of fossils either appear or disappear or both in some cases. Such biostratigraphic
boundaries separate larger or smaller units of time that are defined as eons, eras, periods, epochs,
and ages.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Geologic Time, I INTRODUCTION – Most boundaries in recent geologic time coincide with
periodic extinctions and appearances of new species…II DIVISION OF TIME – An explosion of
invertebrate life marks the end of the Proterozoic and the beginning of the Phanerozoic. The
Phanerozoic Eon started 570 million years before present and continues into the present…The
Phanerozoic Eon is divided into the Paleozoic (570 million to 245 million years before present),
Mesozoic (245 million to 65 million years before present), and Cenozoic (65 million years before present to
present) Eras. The Paleozoic Era is divided into six periods. From oldest to youngest they are the
Cambrian (570 million to 500 million years before present), Ordovician (500 million to 435 million
years before present), Silurian (435 million to 410 million years before present), Devonian (410 million to
380 million years before present), Carboniferous (380 million to 290 million years before present), and
Permian (290 million to 240 million years before present). The Paleozoic began with the appearance of
many different life-forms, which are preserved as abundant fossils in rock sequences all over the
world. It ended with the extinction of over 90 percent of all living organisms at the end of the Permian
Period. The cause of this event is currently unknown…The Mesozoic began with the appearance of
many new kinds of animals, including the dinosaurs and the ammonites, or extinct relatives of
modern squid. The Mesozoic ended with another major extinction in which about 80 percent of all
living organisms died. This extinction may have been the result of a large asteroid that crashed into the
137
earth on the present-day northern Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico.” – "Geologic Time," Microsoft® Encarta®
Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Evolution, The process of evolution, Patterns and rates of species evolution, Reconstruction of
evolutionary history, Gradual and punctuational evolution – New species, characterized by small but
discontinuous morphological changes, typically appear at the boundaries between strata, whereas the
fossils within a stratum exhibit little morphological variation. That is not to say that the transition from
one stratum to another always involves sudden changes in morphology; on the contrary, fossil forms often
persist virtually unchanged through several geologic strata, each representing millions of years.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Evolution, VIII CURRENT EVOLUTIONARY DEBATE – Because understanding of the actual
evolutionary events that took place over earth's long history depends largely on interpretations of an
incomplete fossil record, much latitude remains for differences in such interpretations. One of the issues
that is currently being debated among theorists derives from a notable fact observed in the fossil
record. That is, when a new species appears in the record it usually does so abruptly and then
apparently remains stable for as long as the record of that species lasts. The fossils do not seem to
exhibit the slow and gradual changes that might be expected according to the modern synthesis.” –
"Evolution," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights
reserved.
“Eldredge, Niles – In 1972 Eldredge collaborated with Gould to publish the theory of punctuated
equilibrium, which attempts to reconcile the discontinuities between the fossil record and the
Darwinian theory of evolution. In his theory of punctuated equilibrium, Eldredge postulates that species
remain unchanged for hundreds of thousands of years, only to be abruptly replaced by newer and
more successful forms-sporadic changes that appear as "punctuation" in the fossil record.” –
"Eldredge, Niles," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights
reserved.
c.
That variation does occur within each kind of organism, but
that each species and kind only reproduces its own kind, with
no detectable new species or kind emerging,
d. That the fossil record also only records the existence of static
lines of organisms that appear without transitioning precursors
and that remain unchanged (unevolving) for the millions of
years and all the strata in which they appear in the fossil
record.
3. (These facts are summarized and illustrated in Speciation and the Fossil
Record Figure 1.)
vi. More on the scientific requirement of falsifiablility, evolution’s predictions, and
the evidence
1. Key questions answered
a. Does evolutionary theory predict that there will be large
numbers of intermediate forms transitioning between one
species and another and one kind and another? Yes.
b. Do we find that prediction met by the evidence? No.
c. Does evolution predict that species and kinds are not static but
transition from one into another from the most basic to the
most complex organisms on earth? Yes.
d. Does the evidence fit that prediction? No, the evidence only
shows static, non-transitioning, unchanging lineages of
animals.
e. Does evolutionary theory subsequently redefine the process of
speciation in such a way that it can exist even though its
predictions are disconfirmed by the evidence? Yes.
138
f.
And does that make the evolution of species un-falsifiable by
its very nature? Yes.
vii. Admitted openly by the quotes above from the evolution community…
1. Evolution is in a state in which its traditional theory is falsified by the
fossil record
2. Evolution’s new solution proposed to avert the problems in the
evidence actually relegates evolution to the realm of un-falsifiability
and non-science.
3. We cannot directly observe the process of evolution (or speciation)
actually occurring.
4. The nature of the fossil record is such that it is admitted this dilemma
for evolution is by its nature permanently unsolvable.
5. Thus, having established this from secular and evolutionary sources, it
is accurate to define evolutionary theory as lacking any actual working
theory on the core issue of the origin of species.
5) Although the production of a new or different organism from an existing organism occurs in steps that
are too subtle and slow to be observed directly and although the fossil record likewise contains no
intermediate or transitional forms, it is advanced that all the varieties of organisms on earth today are not
reproductively static, but came into being as generations of offspring from one original organism changed
over time into new and different types of organisms. Beneficial gene mutations are acknowledged to be the
only potential automatic, routine source for the arrival of these new types of organisms. The frequency of
beneficial mutations is acknowledged to be extremely rare. And although there are probability obstacles
concerning any theoretical beneficial mutation being passed on through reproduction and accumulating in
an order and association necessary for new functions to result, the arrival of every variety of organism,
every trait, structure, and organ, and every gene on the planet today are attributed to the automatic, routine
process of beneficial mutation.
viii. The evidence and Creationism
1. What happens if we ask the same questions above concerning creation
theory and the evidence?
a. Does creationist theory predict that there will no intermediate
forms transitioning between one kind and another? Yes.
i. Creationism predicts that there will be no evidence
ever observed of one kind of organisms evolving into
another and that each kind will only be observed to
reproduce its same kind.
b. Do we find that prediction met by the evidence? Yes, the
fossil record and present observation reveal no detectable
transitioning organisms.
c. Does creationism predict that kinds are static and do not
transition from one into another from the most basic to the
most complex? Yes.
d. Does the evidence fit that prediction? Yes, the evidence only
shows static, non-transitioning, unchanging lineages of
animals.
e. Are the predictions and defining points of creation theory
falsifiable in principle? Yes, the discovery of the missing,
identifiable transitioning forms would disprove the creationist
predictions that such forms do not exist because the lineages
of kinds are static.
f. Is creationism both scientific because it is falsifiable in
principle and at the same time supported by the observable
evidence? Yes.
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2.
It would appear that the creationist prediction that kinds will not be
observed evolving into new kinds is irrefutably true because it is simply
not even possible to observe the arrival of a new species or kind.
J. Conclusion about the Theory of Evolution and the Evidence
i. Evolution really lacks any working theory for the 2 core issues at the very center
of evolution itself:
1. the origin of life
2. the origin of species
ii. The evolutionary theory on the central issue of the origin of species faces
prohibitive factors…
1. on the underlying genetic level,
2. on the practical level of how speciation actually takes place in real time
and space,
3. and on the level of the observable evidence itself.
iii. Our 2 definitional points (4 and 5) for evolutionary theory on the origin of
species and the origin of life have been shown to be accurate representations of
secular and evolutionary descriptions of evolutionary theory.
X. Focus on Critical Evidence: Time and Age
A. 2 fundamental lines of evidence that deal with the issue of time.
i. The redshifting of starlight is used to determine the age of the universe
ii. Geologic dating methods to determine the age of the earth.
1. Geologic dating methods to determine the age of the earth can also be
broken down into 2 categories
a. relative dating methods
b. absolute, or radioactive, dating methods.
iii. Therefore, this section on Time and Age will be divided into 3 total parts for this
section:
1. Redshift and the age of the universe,
2. Relative dating methods and the age of the earth,
3. Absolute (radioactive) dating methods and the age of the earth.
iv. These remaining sections of this study will address the remaining 3 definitional
points for the theory of evolution.
1. 1) The origin of the universe in terms of space, time, matter, and energy
2. 2) The variety and distribution of the astronomical objects in the
universe
a. Point 2 will be addressed as we cover the topic of redshift and
the age of the universe.
140
3.
3) The origin of the geological features of the earth
a. Point 3 will be addressed as we cover the topic of geologic
dating methods and the age of the earth.
v. We will establish these definitions to be facts openly admitted by secular and
evolutionary sources, not a biased description on our part.
1. The quotes establishing these definitions will come from secular
sources, evolutionary scientists, and mainstream scientific magazines.
vi. (A few notes on the quotes
1. Quotes below originally used scientific notation, which employs a
superscript character.
2. These figures have been converted either to standard numbers or, if
standard numbers are too large to be written out, into a designation
such as “10 raised to the 35th power.”
3. This was done for 2 reasons.
a. First, to keep such numbers simple and readily apparent for
the lay person reading these articles,
b. Second to avoid any unnecessary complications that special
characters, such as raised superscripts, pose concerning
webpage display and coding.)
B. The amount of time that has passed in the history of the universe and the history of the
earth is critical to both the evolution theory and the creation theory.
i. If the earth, or the universe, is not billions of years old, then there simply isn’t
enough time for evolution to occur and the theory is disproved.
ii. If the earth and the universe are billions of years old rather than simply
thousands of years, then the historical records that set forth creation theory are
falsified and creation theory is demonstrated not to be the product of reliable
accounts and reliable observation.
C. Creation theory asserts that the universe is only about 6,000 to 10,000 years old.
i. Evolutionary scientists claim that creation theory has been falsified on the
grounds that creation’s time claims have been proven wrong by observation.
ii. The young age of the universe and the earth is foundational to…
1. creation theory,
2. creationism’s historical origins,
3. the reliability of creationism’s record of observations.
“Creationism, I INTRODUCTION – In the second half of the 20th century, the most visible and
politically active creationists maintained that the entire universe was created within the past 6000 to
10,000 years…II EARLY VIEWS ON CREATION – Despite mounting evidence of the great antiquity
of life on earth (see Paleontology), many Christians continued to accept the traditional biblical account
of a relatively recent six-day creation in the Garden of Eden, culminating in the appearance of Adam and
Eve.” – "Creationism," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All
rights reserved.
“Creationism, Creationist beliefs – Strict creationists take the Biblical story of the Creation literally.
They believe that God created the universe just thousands of years ago, and that He created all life
forms within six 24-hour days…All creationists believe that each species (type of life form) on earth
has remained relatively unchanged since the Creation, and that no species has evolved from any
other.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Raymond A. Eve, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, University of Texas,
Arlington.
iii. If the earth and the universe are older than the timeframe of 6,000 to 10,000
years, then…
1. creationism’s historical origination is shown to be incorrect,
2. creationism’s underlying record of observations is shown to be
unreliable,
141
3.
creationism itself is shown to be the product of flawed development
and unreliable observations.
XI. Focus on Critical Evidence: Redshift and the Age of the Universe
A. Review of how evolution theory calculates the age of the universe
i. In evolutionary theory the age of the universe is calculated based upon the
distance of stars and the speed at their light travels to the earth.
1. The wavelengths of sound or light become longer if the source of the
wave and the observer of that wave are moving away from each other.
a. This phenomenon is known as the Doppler Effect and it is
occurring with regard to the light from stars.
2. As observed from earth, the light from stars is longer in wavelength,
shifted toward the red end of the spectrum.
a. This shift toward the longer, red wavelengths indicates that the
star, the source of the light, is moving away from the earth.
“Doppler effect – the apparent difference between the frequency at which sound or light waves leave a
source and that at which they reach an observer, caused by relative motion of the observer and the
wave source…The following is an example of the Doppler effect: as one approaches a blowing horn, the
perceived pitch is higher until the horn is reached and then becomes lower as the horn is passed. Similarly,
the light from a star, observed from the Earth, shifts toward the red end of the spectrum (lower
frequency or longer wavelength) if the Earth and star are receding from each other and toward the
violet (higher frequency or shorter wavelength) if they are approaching each other. The Doppler effect is
used in studying the motion of stars and to search for double stars and is an integral part of modern
theories of the universe. See also red shift.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
b.
The occurrence of the Doppler Effect with regard to the light
from stars is known as “red shift.”
“Red shift – displacement of the spectrum of an astronomical object toward longer (red)
wavelengths. It is generally attributed to the Doppler effect, a change in wavelength that results when a
given source of waves (e.g., light or radio waves) and an observer are in rapid motion with respect to
each other.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
c.
3.
Taking note of the red shift in starlight, an astronomer named
Edwin Hubble established that the Doppler Effect was
occurring in starlight because the stars, the source of the light
waves, were moving away from the earth, the place where the
waves were observed.
The fact that the stars are moving away from the earth establishes that
the universe is expanding.
a. Moreover, red shift is central to the Big Bang theory, which is
based upon the concept that the universe is expanding.
“Redshift – In 1929, the American astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered that the farther a galaxy is
from Earth, the larger its redshift and thus the faster it is moving away. Hubble's discovery indicated
that the universe is expanding. The expansion of the universe is a key part of the big bang theory, the
modern theory of the beginning of the universe. According to this theory, all space expanded from a hot,
dense, pointlike concentration called a singularity.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Wendy Freedman, Ph.D.,
Astronomer, Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.
4.
Based upon the measurement of the redshift in the light from distant
galaxies, scientists have been able to establish a consistent relationship
between the distance of galaxies and their speed of movement.
a. This relationship is known as Hubble’s constant and it is
designated by the letter “H.”
142
“Hubble's constant – in cosmology, constant of proportionality in the relation between the velocities
of remote galaxies and their distances. It expresses the rate at which the universe is expanding. It is
denoted by the symbol H and named in honour of Edwin Hubble, the American astronomer who
attempted in 1929 to measure its value.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
5.
This constant rate of expansion, which is based upon the phenomenon
of red shift, is then used to determine the age of the universe.
“Hubble constant – Hubble constant is a measure of the rate of expansion of the universe.
Astronomers use this number in estimating the age of the universe.” – World Book 2005 (Deluxe)
a.
The “reciprocal of Hubble’s constant” is used to calculate the
age of the universe.
i. (“Reciprocal” simply means “inverse” or “opposite.”
It is derived from the verb “reciprocate,” which in
this sense means, “to move forward and backward
alternately.”)
“Reciprocal – 1a: inversely related: opposite.” – Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
“Reciprocate – intransitive senses 1: to make a return for something 2: to move forward and backward
alternately.” – Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
6.
In short, here’s the age of the universe is measured using starlight
a. Hubble’s constant indicates how much the universe moves
apart as time moves forward.
b. The reciprocal of Hubble’s constant indicates how much
closer together the parts of the universe were in the past.
c. If we go far enough back into the past, all the parts of the
universe come together around 10 to 20 billion years ago.
i. The exact age depends upon the exact figure that is
used for Hubble’s constant.
“Hubble's constant – The reciprocal of Hubble's constant lies between 10 billion and 20 billion years,
and this cosmic time scale serves as an approximate measure of the age of the universe.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
7.
Conclusion
a. The evolutionary age of the universe is calculated based upon
the phenomenon of red shift, which itself depends upon the
distance of stars and the speed at which their light travels to
the earth.
ii. The distance of stars and the speed at which their light travels to the earth are
understood to be evidence disproving the Bible’s assertion that the earth and the
universe are only about six thousand years old.
B. Learning from this review
i. We learn the basics of how evolutionary theory calculates the age of the
universe
ii. We can also see how the issue of time is an important piece of evidence capable
of falsifying both creation and evolutionary theories.
C. The evolutionary theory for the origin (beginning and formation) of the universe is
essential as a basis for biological evolution
“Cosmos – Events hypothesized to have occurred in the first few minutes of the creation of the
universe turn out to have had profound influence on the birth, life, and death of galaxies, stars, and
planets. Indeed, there is a direct, though tortuous, lineage from the forging of the matter of the
143
universe in a primal furnace of incredible heat and light to the gathering on Earth of atoms versatile
enough to serve as a chemical basis of life. The intrinsic harmony of the resultant worldview has
great philosophical and aesthetic appeal and perhaps explains the resurgence of public interest in this
subject.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
i. So, although how the universe began may seem not to be essential or relevant to
Evolution’s theory on the origin of life and the origin of species, it is in fact an
essential underpinning for both.
1. The evolutionary origin of the universe serves as the source for the
automatic, routine chemical and physical processes that evolution
argues produced all the forms of life on earth without any need of
foresight and teleology.
2. If the evolutionary theory about the origin of the universe is shown to
be invalid or untenable, then biological evolution is deprived of its
theoretical basis.
3. In short, you can’t have the evolution of life without the evolutionary
origin of the universe.
a. This will be important to keep in mind as we analyze
evolutionary theory on the origin of the universe.
D. A review of our assessment of Evolution theory definition point 2
2) A special location near the center of the universe would be too coincidental to avoid teleology. In order
to construct a universe that is feasibly caused by automatic, routine processes, it is assumed that the
universe is homogeneous and isotropic, meaning that it has uniform distribution and consequently will
appear uniformly distributed when viewed in every direction. The formation and distribution of the largescale structures of the universe such as superclusters, clusters, and galaxies require that 96 percent of the
universe is composed of dark matter and energy, which have not been detected or observed and the
properties of which are also not known. Furthermore, although neither detected nor observed, different
types of dark matter have been theorized, each possessing different properties that are necessary for the
formation and distribution of the universe’s large-scale structures. In addition, the exact proportion of
respective speculative types of dark matter required to result in the formation and current distribution of
these structures is acknowledged to either not work at all or to be “too ideal” to conform to nonteleological, automatic, routine processes. Despite the lack of even a working speculation for how
automatic, routine processes could cause the existing structures and their distribution, nevertheless an
automatic, routine process is advanced as the cause and it is hoped that a working scenario can be
conceived and articulated at some point in the future. Lastly, when selectively filtered, the observed
evidence concerning the phenomenon of redshift can be presented to indicate the 10-20 billion-year age of
the universe.
144
E. Using secular, evolutionary scientists, and mainstream scientific magazines we will
establish the claims of the above definition that…
i. a special location for the earth near the center of the universe is concluded to be
too teleological by evolutionary scientists,
ii. the distribution of matter throughout space is crucial to the evolutionary age of
the universe but merely an assumption,
iii. evolution once again actually lacks a working theory for how the large-scale
structures of the universe formed such as superclusters, clusters, and galaxies,
iv. dark matter and energy have not been empirically detected,
v. dark matter and energy are simply further assumptions needed to solve the
problems preventing the formulation of a working theory,
vi. dark matter and energy have not solved those problems,
vii. in order to work dark matter and energy would have to operate in a proportion
so coincidental that it indicates teleology,
viii. the information from redshift has to be “filtered” to create a date as old as 10-20
billion years,
ix. evolution simply lacks any coherent, working theory for the formation and age
of the universe.
x. [in summary] evolution is founded on the theorization that the universe was
brought about by automatic, routine processes that proceed with no need of
foresight or teleology, however, evolution currently has no theory identifying
such processes and how they operate.
1. (Consequently, evolution is not only without an actual theory on the
origin of life and the origin of species, but also on the origin of the
universe and its structures.)
F. Both redshift and expansion are at the core of the Big Bang theory for the origin of the
universe and for determining the age of the universe
i. Calculating the age of the universe is inherently related to our understanding of
its structure.
1. Current observations of the redshifting of starlight reveal that the
universe has expanded.
2. The expansion of the universe is fundamental to how the structure of
the universe formed and to determining the universe’s age.
a. Astronomer Edwin Hubble in 1929 first discovered that the
universe is expanding.
i. Hubble’s discovery of expansion was based upon his
observation of the redshifting of starlight as observed
from earth.
“Redshift – In 1929, the American astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered that the farther a galaxy is
from Earth, the larger its redshift and thus the faster it is moving away. Hubble's discovery indicated
that the universe is expanding. The expansion of the universe is a key part of the big bang theory, the
modern theory of the beginning of the universe. According to this theory, all space expanded from a hot,
dense, pointlike concentration called a singularity.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Wendy Freedman, Ph.D.,
Astronomer, Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.
145
ii. The Big Bang theory
1. The part of Evolution theory that discusses the origin and structure of
the universe.
2. A theory of general assertions, that is really devoid of an actual theory
when it comes to specifics.
a. As such the formation of the universe in Evolution theory
remains without a solution or explanation at the most
foundational points of the Evolution theory.
3. The Big Bang model does not correspond to what is actually observed
about the universe.
a. And what is actually observed about the structure and content
of the universe prevents the Big Bang model from working.
4. To correct this problem Big Bang theory is make additional
explanatory amendments about things that aren’t and haven’t been
empirically observed, but are simply invented or assumed to make the
theory workable.
G. Dark matter and dark energy – an example of ad hoc solutions to inconsistencies between
Big Bang theory and observations of the universe.
i. In order to explain the formation (or evolution) and structure of the universe,
Big Bang theory hypothesizes the existence of large amounts of dark matter and
dark energy
“Astrophysics, IV THE STUDY OF THE UNIVERSE – Thus far, theorists have not been able to
establish whether the universe will continue to expand forever. The problem centers on the amount of
mass estimated to exist in the universe, because current estimates do not fit in neatly with other
predictions of the big bang theory.” – "Astrophysics," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 19931998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
ii. What is dark matter and dark energy?
1. Dark matter is NOT the same as antimatter.
a. Unlike dark matter, antimatter is a substance that has been
made in experimental conditions.
b. Antimatter particles are counterparts to ordinary matter
particles but they have the opposite charges.
c. For example, the electron found in ordinary matter has an
antimatter counterpart called the positron, which has the same
mass as an electron but the opposite charge.
“Galaxy, Emissions from galaxies – Electrons and protons are forms of ordinary matter, but positrons are
antimatter particles. They are the antimatter opposites of electrons-that is, they have the same mass
(amount of matter) as electrons, but they carry the opposite charge. See ANTIMATTER.” –
Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy and Physics, Boston University.
“Matter, Unusual forms of matter – Scientists have discovered an unusual form of matter called
antimatter. Dark matter, which may be fundamentally different from ordinary matter, apparently also
exists. Physicists do not know what it is made of, however. Antimatter – Physicists can convert energy
into matter with particle accelerators. When subatomic particles collide at high speeds, they create
new particles. Whenever particles of matter are created, an equal number of particles of antimatter
are also made. Antimatter particles are equal in mass to the equivalent particles of matter but
opposite in electric charge and certain other properties. For example, positrons, which are positively
charged, are the antimatter equivalents of electrons. If a matter particle meets an equivalent antimatter
particle, the two particles destroy each other. Both particles are converted into energy.” – Worldbook,
Contributor: Robert H. March, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Physics and Integrated Liberal Studies,
University of Wisconsin, Madison.
146
“Astronomy – Antimatter is matter composed of particles called antiparticles. Each antiparticle has
the same mass as a corresponding particle of ordinary matter but carries an opposite electric
charge.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Jay M. Pasachoff, Ph.D., Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy and
Director, Hopkins Observatory of Williams College.
In contrast to antimatter…
i. Dark matter has not been created experimentally
ii. Dark matter is a purely speculative form of matter
that is required in order for the evolutionary
cosmology, the Big Bang model, to work.
Willem de Sitter and Albert Einstein hypothesize the existence of extra
matter in the universe in order to balance the equations for the
formation of the universe by automatic, routine processes.
a. This matter had not been empirically detected or observed.
b. This matter was called “dark matter.”
c. The adjective “dark” was used as an analogy to reflect the fact
that this extra matter and energy have not been seen but
remain hidden.
i. They are hidden because they do not emit
electromagnetic radiation.
d.
2.
“De Sitter, Willem – His work also helped familiarize astronomers with the theory of relativity
proposed by German-born American astronomer Albert Einstein…In 1919 de Sitter presented an
alternate solution to Einstein's field theory equations. His solution took advantage of the very low
density of matter in the universe by creating a model of a universe with no mass. The assumption of a
massless universe yielded a model that did not exactly match the observable universe. In 1932
Einstein and de Sitter collaborated and refined both men's earlier cosmological theories to create the
Einstein-de Sitter model of the universe. This model was the first prediction that dark matter, or
matter that does not emit electromagnetic radiation and so had not yet been detected, should exist in
the universe. See also Cosmology; Big Bang Theory; Steady-State Theory.” – "De Sitter, Willem,"
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
ii. Electromagnetic radiation is the flow of energy
waves in a spectrum that includes visible light, which
we can see, as well as radio waves, gamma rays, xrays, etc.
“Electromagnetic radiation – in terms of classical theory, the flow of energy at the universal speed of
light through free space or through a material medium in the form of the electric and magnetic fields
that makeup electromagnetic waves such as radio waves, visible light, and gamma rays.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Radiation, General background, Types of radiation – Radiation may be thought of as energy in
motion either at speeds equal to the speed of light in free space—approximately 3 × [10 raised to a power
of 10] centimetres (186,000 miles) per second—or at speeds less than that of light but appreciably greater
than thermal velocities (e.g., the velocities of molecules forming a sample of air). The first type
constitutes the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation that includes radio waves, microwaves,
infrared rays, visible light, ultraviolet rays, X rays, and gamma rays, as well as the neutrino (see
below).” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Spectroscopy, Survey of optical spectroscopy, General principles, Basic features of electromagnetic
radiation – Electromagnetic radiation is composed of oscillating electric and magnetic fields that
have the ability to transfer energy through space. The energy propagates as a wave, such that the crests
and troughs of the wave move in vacuum at the speed of 299,792,458 metres per second. The many forms
of electromagnetic radiation appear different to an observer; light is visible to the human eye, while
X rays and radio waves are not. The distance between successive crests in a wave is called its
147
wavelength. The various forms of electromagnetic radiation differ in wavelength. For example, the
visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum lies between 4 × [10 raised to a power of -7] and 8 × [10
raised to a power of -7] metre (1.6 × [10 raised to a power of -5] and 3.1 × [10 raised to a power of -5]
inch): red light has a longer wavelength than green light, which in turn has a longer wavelength than blue
light. Radio waves can have wavelengths longer than 1,000 metres, while those of high-energy gamma
rays can be shorter than [10 raised to a power of -16] metre, which is one-millionth of the diameter of an
atom.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
The convenient explanation for why we can’t empirically
observe dark matter and energy is that they simply don’t emit
any form of energy that would allow us to detect them in time
or space.
i. Because they don’t emit any energy waves of any
kind along the electromagnetic spectrum, they are
called “dark.”
ii. Given this reason, they might just as well have been
called “invisible matter” and “invisible energy”
1. Such titles probably come too close to
revealing an inherent lack of credibility
2. In contrast the terms “dark matter” and
“dark energy,” which sound exotic,
mysterious, highly technical, and
consequently, more credible.
e. In order to remove the mystique surrounding what dark matter
and dark energy are, we are going to simply use the terms
“invisible matter” and “invisible energy.”
iii. Invisible matter is pure speculation and has not been empirically detected
1. Invisible matter started out merely as a hypothetical speculation.
a. At the time it was theorized invisible matter had not been
observed or detected.
b. To this day invisible matter still has not been detected or
observed.
d.
“Cosmology, The future of the universe – The universe is presently expanding, but its distant future
depends on its present density. Suppose all the matter detected to date is all that exists. There would
be an average of about one atom of hydrogen in 1 cubic yard (0.76 cubic meter) of space. The universe
would be open. It would continue to expand without limit. Eventually, all stars would exhaust the
energy that makes them shine. But suppose the universe contains large amounts of dark matter,
material that has not yet been detected. If the average density of matter in space were as much as 10
atoms of hydrogen per cubic yard, the universe would be closed. In perhaps 20 billion to 40 billion
years, the expansion would stop. The galaxies would then start to come together again, and matter
would approach infinite density.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of
Astronomy and Physics, Boston University.
2.
The undetectable nature of invisible matter is not limited solely to
emissions along the electromagnetic spectrum.
a. Some versions of invisible matter include the idea that
although it could be 100 times more massive than ordinary
matter
b. Yet it is said that…
i. This matter could literally bombard the surface of the
earth and we still wouldn’t be able to touch it or feel
it either.
ii. We could run right into it or pass right through it and
still not detect it.
148
“Cosmos, Other components, Dark matter – Numerous candidates for the dark matter component in
the halos of galaxies and clusters of galaxies have been proposed over the years, but no successful
detection of any of them has yet occurred. If the dark matter is not made of the same material as the
nuclei of ordinary atoms, then it may consist of exotic particles capable of interacting with ordinary
matter only through the gravitational and weak nuclear forces. The latter property lends these hypothetical
particles the generic name WIMPs, after weakly interacting massive particles. Even if WIMPs
bombarded each square centimetre of the Earth at a rate of one per second (as they would do if they
had, for example, individually 100 times the mass of a proton and collectively enough mass to “close”
the universe; see below), they would then still be extremely difficult—though not impossible—to
detect experimentally.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
iv. Not only has invisible matter not been observed or detected, but the properties of
invisible matter also remain “un-deciphered.”
1. “Physicists do not know what it is made of” and that it “is composed of
undiscovered particles.”
a. The nature and properties of invisible matter are largely a
matter of assumption and choice.
b. Properties of invisible matter are hypothesized based upon
whatever is necessary in order to make the theory work.
“Matter, Unusual forms of matter – Scientists have discovered an unusual form of matter called
antimatter. Dark matter, which may be fundamentally different from ordinary matter, apparently
also exists. Physicists do not know what it is made of, however…Dark matter – More than 99 percent
of the visible universe is made up of the two lightest kinds of atoms, hydrogen and helium. It appears,
however, that most of the matter in the universe is invisible dark matter. Scientists have detected dark
matter only through the influence of its gravitational force on the motions of visible matter. Many
scientists believe that dark matter is composed of undiscovered particles.” – Worldbook, Contributor:
Robert H. March, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Physics and Integrated Liberal Studies, University of
Wisconsin, Madison.
2.
The next quotes states that invisible matter is “exotic forms of
elementary particles whose properties have yet to be deciphered.”
“Cosmos, Gravitational theories of clustering, Modes of gravitational instability – Among these
assumptions is the choice of the form of the dark matter or hidden mass. If the hidden mass is not
ordinary matter but instead is contained in exotic forms of elementary particles whose properties have
yet to be deciphered, then one needs to specify if and when this hidden mass decouples from the thermal
radiation field.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
3.
Invisible matter “consists of exotic” and “hypothetical particles” the
mass of which is unknown but assumed to be quite large.
“Cosmos, Other components, Dark matter – Numerous candidates for the dark matter component in
the halos of galaxies and clusters of galaxies have been proposed over the years, but no successful
detection of any of them has yet occurred. If the dark matter is not made of the same material as the
nuclei of ordinary atoms, then it may consist of exotic particles capable of interacting with ordinary
matter only through the gravitational and weak nuclear forces. The latter property lends these hypothetical
particles the generic name WIMPs, after weakly interacting massive particles. Even if WIMPs bombarded
each square centimetre of the Earth at a rate of one per second (as they would do if they had, for example,
individually 100 times the mass of a proton and collectively enough mass to “close” the universe; see
below), they would then still be extremely difficult—though not impossible—to detect
experimentally… Another possibility is that the dark matter is (or was) composed of ordinary matter
at a microscopic level but is essentially nonluminous at a meaningful astronomical level…If the objects
are only extremely faint (e.g., brown dwarfs), they can eventually be found by very sensitive searches,
perhaps atnear-infrared wavelengths. On the other hand, if they emit no light at all, then other
strategies will be needed to find them—for example, to search halo stars for evidence of “microlensing”
149
(i.e., the temporary amplification of the brightness of background sources through the gravitational bending
of their light rays).” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
Iinvisible matter is“mass of an unknown character” and “of an
unknown form.”
v. The only reason necessitating the existence of invisible matter is that without it,
the Big Bang theory and the prospect of the universe originated by automatic,
routine processes doesn’t work.
1. Despite the fact that the character and form of invisible matter are
unknown, Big Bang theory statest that invisible matter is said to affect
both the density and expansion of the universe.
a. (How could we know that invisible matter affects such things
if the character and form of invisible matter are not known?)
4.
“Cosmology, IV COSMOLOGICAL EVIDENCE – Huge regions of mass of an unknown character
affect the motion of galaxies, because of the attractive gravitational forces this mass produces, and make
galaxies deviate from Hubble's constant. Additionally, motions of galaxies within their clusters and the
rotation rates of spiral galaxies seem to indicate that much or most of the mass in the universe is of an
unknown form. This so-called dark matter affects both the density and the expansion rate of the
universe.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation.
All rights reserved.
2.
How much invisible matter and invisible is needed in order for such
evolutionary models to work?
a. According to the quote below, about 23 percent of the
universe must be comprised of invisible matter and about 73
percent of the universe must be comprised of invisible energy.
“Universe, Changing views of the universe – Studies of nearby stars, distant galaxies, and the CMB
radiation give scientists an idea of the types of matter and energy that make up the universe. These studies
suggest that the universe consists of about 4 percent ordinary matter and radiation. The matter
consists mainly of hydrogen and helium. The radiation includes light, radio, and other waves as well as
cosmic rays. The rest of the universe is made up of matter and energy that scientists cannot directly
observe. About 23 percent of the universe is dark matter, matter that does not emit, reflect, or absorb
observable light or other radiation. The remaining 73 percent of the universe is composed of dark
energy. Dark energy is a little-understood form of energy that is apparently making the universe
expand more and more quickly.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of
Astronomy and Physics, Boston University.
b.
This means that the matter and energy that we can observe
comprise only 4 percent of the universe.
3. In order for evolutionary models like the Big Bang (which rely strictly
on automatic, routine processes) to work…
a. There has to be 24 times as much matter and energy in the
universe than what we can observe
b. This extra matter and energy must have properties that solve
the problems even though we don’t know what those
properties are.
vi. What the invisible matter hypothesis tells us about Big Bang theory.
1. Evolutionary scientists are asserting that the universe can come about
by automatic, routine processes if 96 percent of the universe is
comprised of matter and energy that we can’t detect or see.
a. When asked, “If so much of the universe is comprised of this
matter and energy, why can’t we see it?” the explanation
offered by evolutionary scientists is simply, “We can’t see it
because it’s invisible.”
150
And when asked, “What about this extra mass and energy
solves the problems facing the Big Bang theory?” the
evolutionary scientists simply answer, “We don’t know. They
just do.”
2. Implications of Hypocrisy on the Part of Evolution Theorists
a. It’s hard to see how such approaches and answers can be
offered by the same community that claims creationism theory
provides no answers to scientific questions.
b. It is hard to see how such approaches and answers can be
offered by the same community, which criticizes that
creationists simply fill in the gap by claiming the existence
and work of an empirically undetectable entity (God) without
explaining how that entity works to solve the issue.
i. How can such a criticism of creationism not at least
be equally applied to evolutionists’ own hypothesis
of invisible matter and invisible energy?
H. Formation of large-scale structures such as superclusters, clusters, galaxies, and even
stars – another example of ad hoc solutions to inconsistencies between Big Bang theory
and observations of the universe.
i. Granting the existence of massive amounts of undetectable, invisible matter and
energy with unknown properties still doesn’t make Big Bang theory into a
working model.
ii. A chicken-and-egg dilemma – Big Bang theory does not have an explanation for
how these structures formed by automatic, routine processes.
1. Big Bang theory cannot answer the fundamental question, “Which
formed first and how then did they lead to the formation of the others?”
iii. In general, gravity is understood to be mechanism for the formation of these
structures, but how gravity works to form these structures is not resolved.
1. The major Big Bang theories on the structure of the universe are called
“Gravitation theories of clustering”
b.
“Cosmos, Large-scale structure and expansion of the universe, Gravitational theories of clustering –
The fact that gravitation affects all masses may explain why the astronomical universe, although not
uniform, contains structure.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
2.
Two alternative “gravitational theories” have been supposed but, as we
will see, neither of them works without invoking coincidence on the
level of teleology.
a. Both alternatives are versions of the Big Bang theory.
i. The first alternative is designated with the title “topdown theories,” which are associated with warm dark
matter.
ii. The second alternative is designated with the title,
“bottom-up theories,” which are associated with cold
dark matter.
b. Notice:
i. The speculative, problem-solving
ii. The unknown properties of invisible matter continue
to form the basis of both alternatives.
“Galaxy, Origin of galaxies – Scientists have proposed two main kinds of theories of the origin of
galaxies: (1) bottom-up theories and (2) top-down theories. The starting point for both kinds of
theories is the big bang, the explosion with which the universe began 10 billion to 20 billion years ago.
Shortly after the big bang, masses of gas began to gather together or collapse. Gravity then slowly
compressed these masses into galaxies. The two kinds of theories differ concerning how the galaxies
evolved. Bottom-up theories state that much smaller objects such as globular clusters formed first.
151
These objects then merged to form galaxies. According to top-down theories, large objects such as
galaxies and clusters of galaxies formed first. The smaller groups of stars then formed within them.
But all big bang theories of galaxy formation agree that no new galaxies-or very few-have formed since the
earliest times.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy and Physics,
Boston University.
“Cosmos, Large-scale structure and expansion of the universe, Gravitational theories of clustering,
Top-down and bottom-up theories – The scenarios described in the previous subsection turn out, in the
extremes, to lead to two different pictures for the origin of large-scale structure in the universe, which
can be given the labels “top-down” and “bottom-up.” In top-down theories the regions with the
largest scale sizes, comparable to superclusters and clusters, collapse first, yielding flat gaseous
“pancakes” of ordinary matter (a description coined by the primary proponent of this theory, the
physicist Yakov B. Zeldovich of Russia) from which galaxies condense. In bottom-up theories the
regions with the smallest scale sizes, comparable to galaxies or smaller, form first, giving rise to
freely moving entities that subsequently aggregate gravitationally (perhaps by a hierarchal process) to
produce clusters and superclusters of galaxies. Adiabatic fluctuations of ordinary matter tend to yield a
top-down picture, and isothermal fluctuations a bottom-up picture. When hidden mass is added to the
calculations, warm dark matter tends to give a top-down picture, and cold dark matter a bottom-up
picture.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
iv. Types of structures in the universe
1. Globular clusters are different from clusters and superclusters.
a. Globular clusters are smaller than galaxies.
i. Galaxies contain “hundreds of millions” of stars.
“Galaxy, II NTRODUCTION – Galaxy, a massive ensemble of hundreds of millions of stars, all
gravitationally interacting, and orbiting about a common center.” – "Galaxy," Microsoft® Encarta®
Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
ii. Globular clusters only contain “thousands to
hundreds of thousands of stars.”
“Star cluster, General description and classification – Open clusters contain from a dozen to many
hundreds of stars, usually in an unsymmetrical arrangement. By contrast, globular clusters are old
systems containing thousands to hundreds of thousands of stars closely packed in a symmetrical,
roughly spherical form.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
2.
b. The term “globular cluster” refers to a grouping of stars.
The term “cluster” refers to groupings of galaxies.
“Cosmos, Large-scale structure and expansion of the universe – On smaller scales, galaxies tend to
bunch together in clusters and superclusters…Clustering of galaxies – Clusters of galaxies fall into
two morphological categories: regular and irregular. The regular clusters show marked spherical
symmetry and have a rich membership. Typically, they contain thousands of galaxies, with a high
concentration toward the centre of the cluster…Galaxies of all types can be found in irregular clusters:
spirals and irregulars, as well as ellipticals and S0s.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
3.
The term “supercluster” refers to a collection of multiple clusters of
galaxies.
“Supercluster: a group of gravitationally associated clusters of galaxies.” – Merriam-Webster’s
Collegiate Dictionary
v. “bottom-up theories” assert that…
1. the smallest structures of the universe formed first
152
a.
such as galaxies and globular clusters, which are smaller than
galaxies
2. then these small structures merged to form the larger structures
a. such as clusters and superclusters of galaxies.
vi. “top-down theories” assert that…
1. the largest structures of the universe formed first,
a. such as superclusters and clusters
2. then these larger structures further condense to form smaller the smaller
structures within them
a. such as galaxies.
vii. Warm and Cold properties of invisible matter – an example of how the unknown
properties of invisible matter are invented in order to meet the unresolved needs
of evolutionary theory for the origin of the universe.
1. The properties of invisible matter are not known, so…
a. properties are simply being assumed
b. different imaginary properties are further assumed to relate to
whether or not the largest structures of the universe or the
smallest structures form first
2. No matter what the imagined properties are, neither top-down nor
bottom-up theories work.
a. What we know about the universe seems to require both topdown and bottom-up theories to explain its current structures,
such as superclusters, clusters, and galaxies.
i. Top-down theories…
1. explain what we observe about the spatial
distribution of large-scale structures in the
universe
2. require a formation of clusters and galaxies
that is too recent to fit with evolutionary
interpretations of the evidence that pertains
to the age of the universe.
ii. Bottom-up theories…
1. are necessary in order to yield celestial
objects and structures with the mass that we
observe,
2. (which start with the smaller structures)
cannot explain the largest-scale structures.
3. In order for both top-down and bottom-up scenarios to have occurred, it
would require a mixture of warm and cold invisible matter that is
“roughly equal”
a. This equal mixture is too ideal, too “artificial,” particularly
because it is lacking supportive evidence.
“Cosmos, Large-scale structure and expansion of the universe, Gravitational theories of clustering,
Top-down and bottom-up theories – When this is done and models are computed, it is found that topdown theories tend to give a better but still imperfect account of the observed spatial distributions
(flattened superclusters and large holes and voids) and streaming motions of galaxies. Unfortunately,
cluster formation and galaxy formation take place at a redshift z less than 1, too recently relative to
the present epoch to be compatible with the observational data…Bottom-up theories that include
cold dark matter can yield objects with the proper masses (i.e., dark halos), density profiles, and
angular momenta to account for the observed galaxies, but they fail to explain the largest-scale
structures (on the order of a few times 108 light-years) seen in the clustering data. A possible escape
from this difficulty lies in the suggestion that the distribution of galaxies (made mostly of ordinary matter)
may not trace the distribution of mass (made mostly of cold dark matter). This scheme, called biased
galaxy formation, may have a physical basis if it can be argued that galaxies form only from fluctuations
that exceed a certain threshold level… Unfortunately, counter simulations show that no amount of
153
biasing can reproduce both the large-scale spatial structure and the magnitude of the observed largescale streaming motions.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Cosmos, Large-scale structure and expansion of the universe, Gravitational theories of clustering,
Top-down and bottom-up theories – On the problem of the formation of galaxies and large-scale
structure by purely gravitational means, therefore, cosmologists face the following dilemma. The
universe in the large appears to require aspects of both top-down and bottom-up theories. Perhaps
this implies that the hidden mass consists of roughly equal mixtures of warm dark matter and cold
dark matter, but adopting such a solution seems rather artificial without additional supporting
evidence.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
viii. “biased galaxy formation” – an alternative to the joint top-down and bottom-up
theory
1. This alternative theory is non-valid as well, because “no amount of
biasing” can match the observable structure of the universe.
ix. Thus, the evolutionary view is simply without an actual, working theory that
matches the observations concerning the formation of the universe.
1. (Britannica qualifies this as a “dilemma” that modern evolutionary
cosmology continues to face.)
x. Since these gravity based models don’t work, does evolution have any working
theories that employ alternate mechanisms other than gravity?
1. The answer to this question is “no.”
2. “alternative mechanisms” to gravity are…
a. still considered “unorthodox” in evolutionary cosmology
b. deemed even more problematic than the gravitational theories.
“Cosmos, Unorthodox theories of clustering and galaxy formation – Given the somewhat
unsatisfactory state of affairs with gravitational theories for the origin of large-scale structure in the
universe, some cosmologists have abandoned the orthodox approach altogether and have sought
alternative mechanisms…In summary, it can be seen that mechanisms alternative to the growth of
small initial fluctuations by self-gravitation all have their own difficulties. Most astronomers hope
some dramatic new observation or new idea may yet save the gravitational instability approach,
whose strongest appeal has always been the intuitive notion that the force that dominates the astronomical
universe, gravity, will automatically promote the growth of irregularities. But, until a complete
demonstration is provided, the lack of a simple convincing picture of how galaxies form and cluster
will remain one of the prime failings of the otherwise spectacularly successful hot big bang theory.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
3.
Since alternates to gravitational theories suffer even worse problems,
gravitational theories remain the popular view held by the majority of
evolutionary scientists despite the fact that they don’t work.
xi. The Status of the Big Bang model regarding the formation of the universe by
gravitational forces
1. Notice that the quote above concludes that…
a. gravitational theories are in an “unsatisfactory state of affairs,”
b. are in need of “saving,”
c. “lack a simple convincing picture of how galaxies form and
cluster.”
d. the status and problems are regarded as “one of the prime
failings” not just of gravity as a mechanism, but of the big
bang theory itself.
2. The following quote similarly concludes that…
a. “no consensus has been reached” concerning how the universe
formed,
b. the big bang model remains the “theory of choice among
nearly all astronomers.”
154
c.
“most astronomers” regard the theory as having
“shortcomings,” being “incomplete,” and in need of “major
modifications.”
“Cosmos, Cosmological models, Steady state theory and other alternative cosmologies – Big bang
cosmology, augmented by the ideas of inflation, remains the theory of choice among nearly all
astronomers, but, apart from the difficulties discussed above, no consensus has been reached concerning
the origin in the cosmic gas of fluctuations thought to produce the observed galaxies, clusters, and
superclusters. Most astronomers would interpret these shortcomings as indications of the
incompleteness of the development of the theory, but it is conceivable that major modifications are
needed.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
3.
Leading evolutionary scientists in this field admit to the fact that they
have no working theory on the formation of the universe’s structures,
including even the most central object, the star.
a. Concerning star formation…
i. The dust and gas clouds from which stars are said to
form cannot condense into stars due to several
factors, including:
1. their “ internal motions and the heating
effects of nearby stars,”
2. “the centripetal support due to rotation,”
3. “magnetic field pressure,”
4. and the simple fact that they are too far
spread out for gravity to cause their collapse.
5. even if such a cloud did collapse, the
decrease in size would bring about an
increase in pressure that would trigger reexpansion, preventing the further collapse
needed for a star to form.
“Many aspects of the evolution of galaxies cannot yet be determined with any certainty.” – Joseph
Silk, (Professor of Astronomy at the University of Oxford), The Big Bang, 2001, p. 195 (Cited on
“Astronomy and the Bible,” Mike Riddle, Copyright Northwester Creation Network, nwcreation.net)
“Galaxies must have condensed out of the gases expanding from the big bang…Details of the formation
of galaxies are still highly uncertain, as is their subsequent evolution.” – The Facts on File Dictionary
of Astronomy, 1994, p. 172 (Cited on “Astronomy and the Bible,” Mike Riddle, Copyright Northwester
Creation Network, nwcreation.net)
“The complete birth of a star has never been observed. The principles of physics demand some special
conditions for star formation and also for a long time period. A cloud of hydrogen gas must be
compressed to a sufficiently small size so that gravity dominates. In space, however, almost every gas
cloud is light-years in size, hundreds of times greater than the critical size needed for a stable star. As
a result, outward gas pressures cause these clouds to spread out farther, not contract.” – Don De
Young, Ph. D. in Physics, Astronomy and the Bible, 2000, p. 84 (Cited on “Astronomy and the Bible,” Mike
Riddle, Copyright Northwester Creation Network, nwcreation.net)
“Precisely how a section of an interstellar cloud collapses gravitationally into a star…is still a
challenging theoretical problem…Astronomers have yet to see an interstellar cloud in the actual
process of collapse.” – Fred Whipple, The Mystery of Comets, (Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institute
Press, 1985), pp. 211, 213 (Cited on “Astronomy and the Bible,” Mike Riddle, Copyright Northwester
Creation Network, nwcreation.net)
“To many astronomers, it seems reasonable that stars could form from these clouds of gas. Most
astronomers believe that the clouds gradually contract under their own weight to form stars. This
155
process has never been observed, but if it did occur, it would take many human life times. It is known
that clouds do not spontaneously collapse to form stars. The clouds possess considerable mass, but
they are so large that their gravity is very feeble. Any decrease in size would be met by an increase in
gas pressure that would cause a cloud to re-expand.” – Danny Faulkner, Ph. D. Astronomy (Cited on
“Astronomy and the Bible,” Mike Riddle, Copyright Northwester Creation Network, nwcreation.net)
“Despite numerous efforts, we have yet to directly observe the process of stellar formation…The
origin of stars represents one of the fundamental unsolved problems of contemporary astrophysics.”
– Charles Lada and Frank Shu (both astronomers), “The Formation of Sunlike Stars,” Science, 1990, p. 572
(Cited on “Astronomy and the Bible,” Mike Riddle, Copyright Northwester Creation Network,
nwcreation.net)
“Stars are formed by the gravitational collapse of cool, dense gas and dust clouds…There are problems,
however, in initiating the collapse of a gas cloud. It resists collapse because of firstly its internal
motions and the heating effects of nearby stars, secondly, the centripetal support due to rotation, and
thirdly, the magnetic field pressure.” – Facts on File Dictionary of Astronomy, 1994, p. 434 (Cited on
“Astronomy and the Bible,” Mike Riddle, Copyright Northwester Creation Network, nwcreation.net)
“The truth is that we don’t understand star formation at a fundamental level.” – Marcus Chown, “Let
there be Light,” New Scientist, Feb. 7, 1998 (Cited on “Astronomy and the Bible,” Mike Riddle, Copyright
Northwester Creation Network, nwcreation.net)
“There is general belief that stars are forming by gravitational collapse; in spite of vigorous efforts
no one has yet found any observational indication of confirmation. Thus the ‘generally accepted’
theory of stellar formation may be one of a hundred unsupported dogmas which constitute a large
part of present-day astrophysics.” – Hannes Alfven (Nobel prize winner), Gustaf Arrhenius, “Evolution
of the Solar System,” NASA, 1976, p. 480 (Cited on “Astronomy and the Bible,” Mike Riddle, Copyright
Northwester Creation Network, nwcreation.net)
b.
The lack of a working theory on how stars form by automatic,
routine processes is regarded by Nobel Prize winner Hannes
Alfven as “one of a hundred unsupported dogmas which
constitute a large part of present-day astrophysics.”
xii. Spiral galaxies – an example of a lack of explanation in the Big Bang theory for
observations of the universe.
1. Like superclusters of galaxies, clusters of galaxies, and galaxies in
general, evolutionary scientists still do not have a theory for how spiral
galaxies came into being or how it is at all possible that they still exist.
2. The problem is caused by their spiral arms
a. These arms rotate around the center of the galaxy in such
manner that in less than 2 billion years these arms should have
blurred into a continuous mass of stars instead of the clearlydefined arms that we see today.
“Galaxy, Evolution of spiral galaxies – Astronomers do not understand clearly how galactic spirals
evolved and why they still exist. The mystery arises when one considers how a spiral galaxy rotates. The
galaxy spins much like the cream on the surface of a cup of coffee. The inner part of the galaxy rotates
somewhat like a solid wheel, and the arms trail behind. Suppose a spiral arm rotated around the center
of its galaxy in about 250 million years-as in the Milky Way. After a few rotations, taking perhaps 2
billion years, the arms would "wind up," producing a fairly continuous mass of stars. But almost all
spiral galaxies are much older than 2 billion years.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D.,
Professor of Astronomy and Physics, Boston University.
156
I.
Inflation and a “graceful exit” from inflation to the “normal expansion” that we see in the
universe today – an example of ad hoc solutions to inconsistencies between Big Bang
theory and observations of the universe.
i. Inflation is an added explanatory mechanism
1. It is an additional idea intended to support a problem with the original
Big Bang theory.
2. On its own, the Big Bang theory does not fit with the observation of
isotropy and the assumption of homogeneity.
ii. Evolutionary cosmologists understand that the initial explosion would not have
produced an even distribution of matter or temperature throughout space on the
large scale.
“Cosmology, The future of the universe – Other scientists suggest that the big bang theory is basically
correct, but that the universe underwent an early period of rapid expansion called inflation.” –
Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy and Physics, Boston University.
“Big bang – The original big bang theory does not indicate how the temperature of the radiation
could have become so uniform. An added theory called cosmic inflation proposes an explanation,
however.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy and Physics,
Boston University.
“Astrophysics, IV THE STUDY OF THE UNIVERSE – Most astronomers today interpret their data
in terms of the big bang model, which in the early 1980s was further refined by the so-called
inflationary theory, an attempt to account for conditions leading to the big bang.” – "Astrophysics,"
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
iii. The term “inflation” refers to the theory that the universe expanded extremely
rapidly to 10 to the 50th power times its original size in the first micro-fractions
of a second after the initial explosion.
“Big bang – An added theory called cosmic inflation proposes an explanation, however. According to
this theory, the universe expanded by an enormous amount in the early moments of the big bang.” –
Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy and Physics, Boston University.
“Cosmology, III MODERN COSMOLOGY, E Inflationary Theory – The inflationary theory deals
with the behavior of the universe for only a tiny fraction of a second at the beginning of the universe.
Theorists believe that the events of that fraction of a second, however, determined how the universe came
to be the way it is now and how it will change in the future. The inflationary theory states that, starting
only about 1 x [10 raised to a power of -35] second after the big bang and lasting for only about 1 x
[10 raised to a power of -32] second, the universe expanded to 1 x [10 to a power of 50] times its
previous size. The numbers 1 x [10 raised to a power of -35] and 1 x [10 raised to a power of -32] are
very small-a decimal point followed by 34 zeros and then a 1, and a decimal point followed by 31
zeros and then a 1, respectively. The number 1 x [10 to a power of 50] is incredibly large-a 1 followed
by 50 zeros.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft
Corporation. All rights reserved.
1.
The rapidness of this expansion is said to explain why matter and
temperature became homogeneous.
a. (Homogeneity is the assumption that matter and temperature
are virtually uniform throughout the universe.)
“Cosmology, III MODERN COSMOLOGY, E Inflationary Theory – This extremely rapid inflation
would explain why the universe appears so homogeneous: The universe had been compact enough to
become uniform, and the expansion was rapid enough to preserve that uniformity.” – "Cosmology,"
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
157
“Big bang – An added theory called cosmic inflation proposes an explanation, however. According to
this theory, the universe expanded by an enormous amount in the early moments of the big bang. The
theory shows that the inflationary expansion would have tended to smooth out temperature variations
occurring over widely separated parts of the universe. Small variations in density would have led to
the formation of galaxies.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy
and Physics, Boston University.
iv. The addition of inflation theory is necessary in order for the Einstein-de Sitter
model of the universe, which is the basic model of the Big Bang cosmology, to
work.
“Cosmos, Cosmological models, The very early universe, Inflation – Cosmic inflation serves a number
of useful purposes. First, the drastic stretching during inflation flattens any initial space curvature,
and so the universe after inflation will look exceedingly like an Einstein–de Sitter universe.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
v. 2 important problems for the inflation addition to evolutionary theory.
1. First, many observational cosmologists do not accept inflation because
it does not fit with actual observations.
a. (This is despite the fact that…
i. Inflation is necessary on a theoretical level in order
for the Big Bang model to work.
ii. Many theoretical cosmologists accept inflation for
that philosophical reason)
“Cosmos, Relativistic cosmologies, Relativistic cosmologies, Einstein's model, The Einstein–de Sitter
universe – Because the geometry of space and the gross evolutionary properties are uniquely defined in
the Einstein–de Sitter model, many people with a philosophical bent have long considered it the most
fitting candidate to describe the actual universe. During the late 1970s strong theoretical support for
this viewpoint came from considerations of particle physics (the model of inflation to be discussed
below), and mounting, but as yet undefinitive, support also seems to be gathering from astronomical
observations.”
b.
c.
The Einstein-de Sitter model – the longstanding basis of
modern cosmology…
i. Is maintained because of the result of “a
philosophical bent,”
ii. Needs to be supported by “the model of inflation”
iii. Is not defined or necessitated by the observations, but
is “yet undefinitive” as far as the actual observations
Cosmologists whose focus is actual observation tend to reject
the inflationary theory.
i. Recent studies in the 1990’s show that the predictions
of inflationary theory are incorrect.
“Cosmology, III MODERN COSMOLOGY, E Inflationary Theory – Though many theoretical
cosmologists seem to favor the inflationary theory, it is not as widely accepted among observational
cosmologists. Several astronomers and cosmologists performed studies in the late 1990s that seemed to
show that the universe may be decidedly open, and not as close to the boundary between open and
closed as the inflationary theory predicts.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. ©
1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
1.
158
This indicates that Big Bang cosmology
relies on theory that simply does not fit with
actual observations.
2.
Second, expansion during the inflation period is so different from the
expansion that we see today, that the transition between the 2 poses an
obstacle to inflation and Big Bang theories.
a. Inflation theory stipulates that the expansion that we observe
today is drastically different from the expansion that occurred
initially as a result of the Big Bang explosion itself.
“Cosmos, Cosmological models, The very early universe, Inflation – Cosmic inflation serves a number
of useful purposes. First, the drastic stretching during inflation flattens any initial space curvature, and so
the universe after inflation will look exceedingly like an Einstein–de Sitter universe…When inflation
ended and the universe reheated and resumed normal expansion, these different portions, through the
natural passage of time, reappeared on our horizon.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
vi. Conclusions on the additional explanatory amendment of inflation
1. The inflation hypothesis
a. is necessary in order to provide the uniform distribution of
matter that the Big Bang theory assumes for the universe,
b. is necessary to support the Einstein-de Sitter model,
c. “has been the guiding modern cosmological thought,”
d. BUT inflation “has not resolved all internal difficulties.”
“Cosmos, Cosmological models, The very early universe, Inflation – As influential as inflation has
been in guiding modern cosmological thought, it has not resolved all internal difficulties. The most
serious concerns the problem of a “graceful exit.” Unless the effective potential describing the effects of
the inflationary field during the GUT era corresponds to an extremely gently rounded hill (from whose
top the universe rolls slowly in the transition from the false vacuum to the true vacuum), the exit to
normal expansion will generate so much turbulence and inhomogeneity (via violent collisions of
“domain walls” that separate bubbles of true vacuum from regions of false vacuum) as to make
inexplicable the small observed amplitudes for the anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background
radiation. Arranging a tiny enough slope for the effective potential requires a degree of fine-tuning
that most cosmologists find philosophically objectionable.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe
Edition
2.
3.
Inflation theory itself requires such a finely-tuned balance that
evolutionary scientists disregard it because of its inherent implications
of foresight and teleology.
a. In order for inflation theory to work and transition from
inflation expansion to the normal expansion that we observe
today, “a degree of fine-tuning” is required that “most
cosmologists find philosophically objectionable.”
b. Fine-tuning is inherently a feature of foresight and teleology.
i. Once again, Big Bang cosmology does not work
without necessitating teleology, the very concept
evolutionary cosmology asserts is not necessary.
1. Big Bang theory needs inflation theory in
order to work.
2. The Einstein-de Sitter basis for the Big Bang
theory needs inflation theory in order to
work.
c. (We also saw that such fine-tuning was the case with the need
for both top-down and bottom-up theories concerning the
formation of the universe’s structure)
The Big Bang theory seeks to explain the origin and structure of the
universe without teleology.
a. In order to avoid teleology, it is assumed that the universe is
homogeneous (the same everywhere).
159
b.
4.
But the model of the Big Bang, which is based on the
observation of expansion, is not likely to have produced
homogeneity in the universe.
c. In order to explain how the universe could be homogeneous, it
is suggested that an inflationary form of expansion occurred in
the fractions of a second at the very beginning of the Big
Bang, which is very different from the expansion that is
actually observed in the universe.
d. This inflation hypothesis is of absolute necessity for the Big
Bang model as a whole and to its avoidance of teleology.
e. The inflation hypothesis is accepted despite…
i. the fact that it has internal problems, which haven’t
entirely been worked out yet
ii. the fact that it doesn’t fit with observations of the
universe.
Thus, the evolutionary theory for the formation of the universe without
foresight (the big bang theory) really lacks any actual, working theory.
a. Inflation is just one example of this fact concerning the
principle elements of Big Bang evolutionary cosmology.
b. Our second defining point for evolutionary theory is right to
conclude the following:
2) …Despite the lack of even a working speculation for how automatic, routine processes could cause the
existing structures and their distribution, nevertheless an automatic, routine process is advanced as the
cause and it is hoped that a working scenario can be conceived and articulated at some point in the future.
J.
Bang theory does not and cannot explain or discuss the main elements of cosmological
inquiry
i. Modern cosmology (which is the Big Bang model) is the field of research that
“seeks to understand the structure of the universe.”
1. Important notes from the quotes below:
a. The big bang is the modern cosmology that is based upon the
discoveries of Edwin Hubble, Alexander Friedmann, and
Albert Einstein.
b. “Most astronomers interpret their data in terms of the big bang
model.”
i. So, most astronomers interpret the observable data in
light of a theory that does not work in terms of the
structure of the universe.
“Astrophysics, IV THE STUDY OF THE UNIVERSE – Cosmology seeks to understand the structure
of the universe. Modern cosmology is based on the American astronomer Edwin Hubble's discovery
in 1929 that all galaxies are receding from each other with velocities proportional to their distances. In
1922 the Russian astronomer Alexander Friedmann proposed that the universe is everywhere filled with
the same amount of matter. Using Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity to calculate the
gravitational effects, he showed that such a system must originate in a singular state of infinite density
(now called the big bang) and expand from that state in just the way Hubble observed. Most astronomers
today interpret their data in terms of the big bang model, which in the early 1980s was further refined
by the so-called inflationary theory, an attempt to account for conditions leading to the big bang.” –
"Astrophysics," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights
reserved.
2.
The Big Bang theory makes claims about…
a. What happened “immediately after the explosion”
160
b.
The formation of the large-scale structures of the universe,
such as galaxies, clusters, and superclusters, as well as the
formation of stars.
“Universe, Changing views of the universe – The big bang theory provides the best explanation of the
basic observations of the universe. According to the theory, the universe began with an explosioncalled the big bang-13 billion to 14 billion years ago. Immediately after the explosion, the universe
consisted chiefly of intense radiation and hot particles. This radiation, along with various kinds of
matter and energy, formed a rapidly expanding region called the primordial fireball. After thousands of
years, the fireball cooled. In time, the matter broke apart into huge clumps. The clumps became
galaxies, many of them grouped into clusters, superclusters, and filaments. Smaller clumps within the
galaxies formed stars. Part of one of these clumps became the sun and the other objects in the solar
system.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy and Physics, Boston
University.
3.
Even though the model is titled Big Bang, it only attempts to explain
what happened after the “explosion” that is said to have began the
universe.
a. The explosion itself, the actual Big Bang…
i. Cannot be studied.
ii. Instead, “its existence is inferred.”
“Cosmology, III MODERN COSMOLOGY – Modern cosmologists base their theories on
astronomical observations, physical concepts such as quantum mechanics, and an element of
imagination and philosophy. Cosmologists have moved beyond trying to find the earth's place in the
universe to explaining the origins, nature, and fate of the universe…Current methods of particle physics
allow the universe to be traced back to earlier than one second after the big bang explosion initiated the
expansion of the universe. Cosmologists believe that they can model the universe back to 1 x [10 to the
-43rd power] seconds after the big bang; before that point, they would need a theory that merges the
theory of gravity and the theory of general relativity to explain the behavior of the universe.
Scientists do not actually study the big bang itself, but infer its existence from the universe's
expansion.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation.
All rights reserved.
4.
It is the current expansion of the universe that is thought to infer an
initial explosion.
a. The expansion of the universe is the “immediate” indicator
that the universe had a beginning, a big bang, and that since
that beginning its structure has “evolved.”
“Cosmos – The observed expansion of the universe immediately raises the spectre that the universe is
evolving, that it had a beginning and will have an end.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
b.
The observation of expansion is the basis for assuming an
initial explosion.
“Cosmos – Cosmology is, in effect, the study of the universe at large. A dramatic new feature, not
present on small scales, emerges when the universe is viewed in the large—namely, the cosmological
expansion…On cosmological scales, galaxies (or, at least, clusters of galaxies) appear to be racing
away from one another with the apparent velocity of recession being linearly proportional to the distance
of the object. This relation is known as the Hubble law (after its discoverer, the American astronomer
Edwin Powell Hubble). Interpreted in the simplest fashion, the Hubble law implies that roughly
[10,000,000,000] years ago, all of the matter in the universe was closely packed together in an
incredibly dense state and that everything then exploded in a “big bang,” the signature of the
explosion being written eventually in the galaxies of stars that formed out of the expanding debris of
matter.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
161
“Cosmology, III MODERN COSMOLOGY, A The Big Bang Theory – The big bang theory describes
a hot explosion of energy and matter at the time the universe came into existence. This theory
explains why the universe is expanding and why the universe seems so uniform in all directions and at all
places.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All
rights reserved.
5.
Thus, Big Bang theory cannot be derived by simply extrapolating the
kind of expansion that we currently see back in time for 2 reasons…
a. It is a non-sequitur to assume that just because the universe is
expanding now that it explanded all the way from an initial
explosion.
i. Especially when this initial explosion cannot be
studied or observed directly.
ii. We are simply pointing out that the basis for Big
Bang theory is an assumption NOT actual
observation or logical necessity.
b. Big Bang theory itself requires a dramatically different type of
expansion called inflation, which occurred in the time period
immediately after the initial explosion.
i. Transitioning between inflation and current
expansion requires fine-tuning, which implies
teleology.
K. Summary on the status of the Big Bang theory for the origin of the universe as
demonstrated by dark (invisible) matter and energy, bottom-up and top-down
gravitational theories, and the inability to actually study the “bang” itself
i. Modern Cosmology relies on a theory (the Big Bang) that has no working
explanations of the formation and structure of the universe
1. And modern astronomers interpret data according to a theory that
doesn’t have any working explanations of the formation and structure
of the universe and contradicts observed evidence.
ii. The explosion itself, from which the name “Big Bang” is derived, cannot be
studied.
1. This again demonstrates that evolution lacks a working theory that is
capable of explaining important aspects regarding the origin of the
universe (and its structure) such as even the initial explosion.
iii. To explain the explosion, evolution would need a theory that merges gravity
with Einstein’s general relativity.
1. Evolutionists don’t have such a theory.
a. So they can’t study the explosion itself.
iv. Since they don’t have a theory for how the Big Bang could have occurred, there
really is no such thing as a Big Bang theory.
1. There is no theory explaining the explosion called the Big Bang.
2. There is simply the assertion that there was such an explosion, even if
there is no theory explaining it.
v. Big Bang theory superior to Creationism?
1. How can Big Bang theory be superior to creationism with…
a. Its lack of explanations to essential questions,
b. assertions contrary to and not supported by actual observation,
c. unresolved theoretical difficulties,
d. unwarranted assumptions
2. Big Bang theory may be preferred to Creationism because it avoids
teleology and therefore, potential accountability to a Creator, but this is
not a scientific basis, just a personal philosophical preference.
vi. What we are left with is an evolutionary theory that…
1. Cannot study the big bang itself
162
a.
Big Bang theory provides no working theory regarding the
initial explosion
2. Focuses instead on its aftereffects, which comprise the formation of the
main structures of the universe as we know it today,
3. Cannot explain those aftereffects either.
a. Big Bang theory provides no working theory for what
happened afterward in the formation of the universe’s
structure and major objects
vii. This begs the question, if not the explosion itself and if not the formation of the
universe after the explosion, what does the Big Bang theory does actually
explain?
1. And the answer is that it explains nothing.
viii. Evolutionary theory for the origin of the universe is essential as the basis for
biological evolution
1. Since there is no working theory for the evolutionary origin of the
universe without foresight, what does this mean for biological
evolution, which is based on cosmological evolution?
L. A brief reiteration of the supreme importance of expansion in cosmology
i. Expansion dominates cosmology
1. Information that we gain from observations about the universe’s
expansion are determinant to cosmological reality and the validity of
cosmological theories.
a. In Big Bang theory the expansion of the universe is the
foundation and bedrock of the Big Bang theory and the age of
the universe.
2. So, whatever we observe about expansion cannot be ignored when
cosmological models are formulated.
a. To formulate cosmologies according to some observations
about expansion while wholly ignoring other observations
about expansion reveals a biased handling of the evidence.
ii. There are specific observations about expansion, which are being ignored in
order to accommodate the evolutionary Big Bang model and its rejection of
teleology.
1. These discoveries…
a. Were made by secular scientists, not creationists.
b. Have been acknowledged and asserted in all of the major
mainstream scientific journals and magazines.
iii. Significance of ignoring observed data about the expansion of the universe
1. If known observations are being ignored this implies that philosophical
preference is interfering with interpretation of the evidence.
a. (Remember the quote above that astronomers interpret the
data in accordance with Big Bang theory.)
“Astrophysics, IV THE STUDY OF THE UNIVERSE – Most astronomers today interpret their data
in terms of the big bang model, which in the early 1980s was further refined by the so-called
inflationary theory, an attempt to account for conditions leading to the big bang.” – "Astrophysics,"
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
163
iv. We will do two things in order to sufficiently discuss the relevance of
expansion, ignored evidence, and philosophical bias:
1. First, we will demonstrate how much philosophical bias plays a role in
science, particularly secular cosmology.
a. This demonstration will be established from secular and
evolutionary sources.
2. We will understand what the Big Bang, evolutionary picture of the
universe is and what the key components of that picture are, so that…
a. We can understand the significance of the observations about
expansion that are being ignored
b. We will be ready to see the relevance that the ignored
expansion data has for…
i. Big Bang and evolutionary cosmology
ii. Creationism
iii. The debate over the origin of the universe as a whole.
XII. Focus on Critical Evidence: The Central Role of Philosophical Preference
A. Demonstrating that philosophical preference plays a dominant role at the foundation of
formulating evolutionary theory
i. This is not really a difficult point to prove.
ii. It is a fact that is widely and often admitted to.
B. Philosophical preference is the reason that Big Bang theory is accepted (in spite of the
fact that it cannot explain the observed evidence)
i. “modern cosmologists base theories on” a mixture of observations, “concepts,”
“imagination,” and “philosophy.”
“Cosmology, III MODERN COSMOLOGY – Modern cosmologists base their theories on
astronomical observations, physical concepts such as quantum mechanics, and an element of imagination
and philosophy.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft
Corporation. All rights reserved.
ii. The Einstein-de Sitter universe, which remains the longstanding base model for
evolutionary cosmology, is preferred due to a “philosophical bent.”
“Cosmos, Relativistic cosmologies, Relativistic cosmologies, Einstein's model, The Einstein–de Sitter
universe – Because the geometry of space and the gross evolutionary properties are uniquely defined in
the Einstein–de Sitter model, many people with a philosophical bent have long considered it the most
fitting candidate to describe the actual universe.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
iii. Biological evolution is dependent upon cosmological evolution, but public
acceptance of either is based upon philosophical appeal
1. Public interest in the origin of the universe is based upon the
philosophical appeal of the joint biological and astrophysical
evolutionary theory.
a. So, from start to finish the theory of evolution is publicly
accepted because the public finds it philosophically appealing.
“Cosmos – Events hypothesized to have occurred in the first few minutes of the creation of the
universe turn out to have had profound influence on the birth, life, and death of galaxies, stars, and
planets. Indeed, there is a direct, though tortuous, lineage from the forging of the matter of the
universe in a primal furnace of incredible heat and light to the gathering on Earth of atoms versatile
enough to serve as a chemical basis of life. The intrinsic harmony of the resultant worldview has
great philosophical and aesthetic appeal and perhaps explains the resurgence of public interest in this
subject.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
164
iv. The gravitational mechanism, which is favored and central in evolutionary
cosmology, is accepted simply because it has “intuitive appeal” despite the fact
that it doesn’t work.
“Cosmos, Unorthodox theories of clustering and galaxy formation – Given the somewhat
unsatisfactory state of affairs with gravitational theories for the origin of large-scale structure in the
universe, some cosmologists have abandoned the orthodox approach altogether and have sought alternative
mechanisms…In summary, it can be seen that mechanisms alternative to the growth of small initial
fluctuations by self-gravitation all have their own difficulties. Most astronomers hope some dramatic
new observation or new idea may yet save the gravitational instability approach, whose strongest
appeal has always been the intuitive notion that the force that dominates the astronomical universe, gravity,
will automatically promote the growth of irregularities. But, until a complete demonstration is provided,
the lack of a simple convincing picture of how galaxies form and cluster will remain one of the prime
failings of the otherwise spectacularly successful hot big bang theory.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica
2004 Deluxe Edition
C. Historical pattern of philosophical preference, NOT evidence, as the basis of
cosmological theories – the Steady-State theory
i. Even the Big Bang model was long resisted simply because idea that the cosmos
had a beginning is so philosophically distasteful due to the inherently implied
(and inherently theological) “creation event”
1. The Big Bang theory only and finally accepted because the alternative
steady-state theory became impossible on the evidence.
“Cosmos – The observed expansion of the universe immediately raises the spectre that the universe is
evolving, that it had a beginning and will have an end. The steady state alternative, postulated by a
British school of cosmologists in 1948, is no longer considered viable by most astronomers. Yet, the
notion that the Cosmos had a beginning, while common in many theologies, raises deep and puzzling
questions for science, for it implies a creation event—a creation not only of all the mass-energy that now
exists in the universe but also perhaps of space-time itself. The issue of how the universe will end seems,
at first sight, more amenable to conventional analysis.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
ii. The Big Bang’s predecessor, the Steady-State theory was also accepted for
philosophical reasons because it asserted that the universe was eternal, and
therefore avoided the philosophically undesirable “creation event” with all of its
inherent theological implications.
“Steady-state theory – A steady-state universe has no beginning or end in time; and from any point
within it the view on the grand scale—i.e., the average density and arrangement of galaxies—is the same.”
– Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
1.
2.
There was never an observational basis that made the steady-state
theory more valid than the Big Bang.
The only reason for the steady-state theory was that “the idea of a
sudden beginning of the universe” was “philosophically unacceptable”
to cosmologists.
“Steady-State Theory, II THE STEADY-STATE THEORY – The steady-state theory's main
advantage is that it avoids the problem of having to describe how the universe began. The theory's
appeal is largely philosophical-there have never been particular observations that implied it was better
or more valid than the big-bang theory.” – "Steady-State Theory," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia
99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Cosmology, III MODERN COSMOLOGY – When the big bang theory was developed in the mid20th century, some cosmologists found the idea of a sudden beginning of the universe philosophically
unacceptable. They proposed the steady-state theory, which said that the universe has always looked
165
more-or-less the same as it does now and that it does not change over time. The steady-state theory could
not explain the background radiation, though, and essentially all cosmologists have abandoned it.” –
"Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights
reserved.
iii. Philosophy overrides evidence
1. The philosophical appeal of a universe with no beginning, and therefore
no “creation event,” was so strong that the steady-state theory
continued for a long time despite mounting evidence of the expansion
of the universe, which was understood to be proof of the Big Bang
theory.
2. At first, the desire to avoid a beginning and a “creation event” was so
strong that in order to reconcile the preferable “eternal universe” with
the observation of expansion, some cosmologists preferred the steadystate concept that matter was “continually created out of nothing.”
“Cosmology, III MODERN COSMOLOGY, B Steady-State Theory – In the 1940s British scientists
Hermann Bondi, Thomas Gold, and Fred Hoyle were philosophically opposed to the requirements that
the big bang theory put forth for the extreme conditions in the early universe. The big bang theory was
framed in terms of what they called the cosmological principle-that the universe is homogeneous (the same
in all locations) and isotropic (looks the same in all directions) on a large scale. Bondi, Gold, and Hoyle
suggested an additional postulate, which they called the perfect cosmological principle. This principle
stated that the universe is not only homogeneous and isotropic but also looks the same at all times.
Since the universe is expanding, though, one might think that the density of the universe would
decrease. Such a decrease would be a change that would not fit with the perfect cosmological principle.
Bondi, Gold, and Hoyle thus suggested that matter could be continuously created out of nothing to
maintain the density over time. The rate at which matter would have to be created was much too low to
be observationally testable, however. They called this theory the steady-state theory.” – "Cosmology,"
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
iv. The very reason for the final demise of the steady-state theory was either a
“conscious or unconscious preference” to avoid numerous “creation events,”
which would have been necessary in order for the steady-state theory to survive
growing proof for expansion.
1. It would seem that if one creation event posed theological implications,
that the non-stop creation of more matter out of nothing multiplied that
distasteful concept literally to an infinite degree.
“Cosmos, Cosmological models, Steady state theory and other alternative cosmologies – By that year,
of course, the universe was known to be expanding; therefore, the only way to explain a constant (steady
state) matter density was to postulate the continuous creation of matter to offset the attenuation caused
by the cosmic expansion. This aspect was physically very unappealing to many people, who
consciously or unconsciously preferred to have all creation completed in virtually one instant in the
big bang.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
D. Historical pattern of philosophical preference, NOT evidence, as the basis of
cosmological theories – Einstein’s model
i. Even Einstein’s model of the universe was fundamentally based upon
assumptions that were NOT necessitated by his mathematics.
1. The first two of Einstein’s assumptions of were based upon an
“attractive” and “appealing” “philosophical notion.”
a. These assumptions were so philosophically appealing that
other scientists took them even further in the effort to assert
the steady-state theory.
166
“Cosmos, Relativistic cosmologies, Einstein’s model – To derive his 1917 cosmological model,
Einstein made three assumptions that lay outside the scope of his equations. The first was to suppose
that the universe is homogeneous and isotropic in the large (i.e., the same everywhere on average at any
instant in time), an assumption that the English astrophysicist Edward A. Milne later elevated to an entire
philosophical outlook by naming it the cosmological principle. Given the success of the Copernican
revolution, this outlook is a natural one…The second assumption was to suppose that this homogeneous
and isotropic universe had a closed spatial geometry. As described in the previous section, the total volume
of a three-dimensional space with uniform positive curvature would be finite but possess no edges or
boundaries (to be consistent with the first assumption). The third assumption made by Einstein was that
the universe as a whole is static—i.e., its large-scale properties do not vary with time. This
assumption, made before Hubble's observational discovery of the expansion of the universe, was also
natural; it was the simplest approach, as Aristotle had discovered, if one wishes to avoid a discussion
of a creation event. Indeed, the philosophical attraction of the notion that the universe on average is
not only homogeneous and isotropic in space but also constant in time was so appealing that a school
of English cosmologists—Hermann Bondi, Fred Hoyle, and Thomas Gold—would call it the perfect
cosmological principle and carry its implications in the 1950s to the ultimate refinement in the socalled steady state model.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
Einstein’s original model was also based upon the assumption “that the
universe as a whole is static” which means that “its large-scale
properties do not vary with time.”
a. Einstein’s original model could suppose this third assumption
because Hubble had not yet discovered the expansion of
space.
3. Even in Einstein’s model, these assumptions are present as part of a
longstanding desire to avoid “a creation event.”
E. Summation of the historical pattern of philosophical preferences role in cosmological
theories
i. The quotes presented above sufficiently demonstrate…
1. that philosophical preference plays a role at the foundation level of
theories
2. the extent to which much of the philosophical preference is a desire to
avoid a “creation event” and its theological implications.
F. Philosophical preference and the scientific criterion of falsifiability
i. With no observations for the core concepts of an initial explosion or the
subsequent formation of the structures of the universe, the basis for the Big
Bang theory remains solely philosophical preference.
1. Concerning the foundational points of evolutionary cosmology,
observation does NOT play a joint role with philosophical preference.
a. This is because the principle components of Big Bang
cosmology simply cannot be observed.
i. The Big Bang explosion itself cannot be modeled.
2.
“Cosmology, III MODERN COSMOLOGY – Cosmologists believe that they can model the universe
back to 1 x [10 to the -43rd power] seconds after the big bang; before that point, they would need a
theory that merges the theory of gravity and the theory of general relativity to explain the behavior of the
universe. Scientists do not actually study the big bang itself, but infer its existence from the universe's
expansion.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation.
All rights reserved.
ii. And, like the origin of life, no human was around to
observe the Big Bang explosion.
iii. And the formation of the major structures of the
universe also has not and cannot be observed.
1. (such as superclusters, clusters, galaxies, and
even stars)
167
2.
3.
Like the origin of species, these processes
take too long to actually observe or
identifiably observe.
Any processes that might relate to or even
hypothetically simulate these core concepts
occur at locations in the universe that are
inaccessible to our observation.
“Astronomy, Computer modeling – This kind of model can help astronomers because many important
processes occur much too slowly for astronomers to observe. Other important processes that can be
simulated occur in inaccessible places, such as the interiors of stars.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Jay M.
Pasachoff, Ph.D., Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy and Director, Hopkins Observatory of Williams
College.
ii. Since the only 2 observable evidences for the Big Bang theory fit with creation
theory as well, philosophical preference (not observation) is shown to be the
sole determining factor for the basic evolutionary cosmology.
1. Current expansion and isotropy – 2 points that are observable, but don’t
fit the Big Bang theory any better than they do the creationist model.
a. Isotropy
i. Isotropy is a term that refers to the fact that every
direction that we look into space, we seem to see a
roughly even distribution of matter, at least on the
largest scale.
“Cosmos, Relativistic cosmologies, Einstein’s model – To derive his 1917 cosmological model,
Einstein made three assumptions that lay outside the scope of his equations. The first was to suppose
that the universe is homogeneous and isotropic…Indeed, the philosophical attraction of the notion
that the universe on average is not only homogeneous and isotropic in space but also constant in time
was so appealing that a school of English cosmologists—Hermann Bondi, Fred Hoyle, and Thomas
Gold—would call it the perfect cosmological principle and carry its implications in the 1950s to the
ultimate refinement in the so-called steady state model.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Cosmology, III MODERN COSMOLOGY, B Steady-State Theory – In the 1940s British scientists
Hermann Bondi, Thomas Gold, and Fred Hoyle were philosophically opposed to the requirements that
the big bang theory put forth for the extreme conditions in the early universe. The big bang theory was
framed in terms of what they called the cosmological principle-that the universe is homogeneous (the
same in all locations) and isotropic (looks the same in all directions) on a large scale.” – "Cosmology,"
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
b.
The expansion of the universe
i. The only other truly observable fundamental concept
to the Big Bang model is the current expansion of the
universe
ii. But expansion we can observe at the present time…
1. Does not necessarily imply expansion all the
way back in time to a starting explosion.
2. Is very different from the early inflation
expansion Big Bang theory asserts, which
we can’t observe
iii. Philosophical preference, not observation, remains the only reason to accept Big
Bang theory and reject Creationism
1. Specifically the philosophical bias to avoid a “creation event” with its
theological implications.
168
iv. Creationism is not on the same footing as evolutionary cosmology regarding
philosophical preferences
1. The Big Bang is based upon assumptions that go beyond what is
observed and observable.
a. Examples:
i. The expansion that we observe today…
1. Does not necessitate expansion all the way
from an initial explosion
2. Is drastically different from the kind of
expansion Big Bang theory hypothesizes in
the very beginning of the universe and
which it needs to work.
ii. Big Bang cosmology, which uses expansion as its
observational base, actually ignores known
observations about expansion.
1. Once factored in, the previously ignored
observations about expansion inherently
indicate teleology and foresight.
a. We will see exactly why this is the
case later on when we cover the
ignored observations.
2. Unlike evolutionary cosmology, creationism is not relying solely on
philosophical assumptions for which there is no observation.
a. Observations about expansion inherently indicate teleology.
b. The core concepts of creationist cosmology rely on three
observations about the universe (NOTmere philosophical
preference)…
i. the observation of expansion,
ii. the observation of isotropy,
iii. and one other known observation that the Big Bang
evolutionary theory has to ignore, which we will
cover later.
v. The scientific criterion of falsifiability and the implications of Big Bang
cosmology being formulated and accepted on the grounds of philosophical
preference not observation
1. Falsifiable theories
a. When a theory is accepted or rejected on the grounds of how
well it fits the observable evidence, that theory can be
falsified.
b. When a theory is formulated out of correspondence with
actual observable evidence, then that theory is likely to be
falsifiable by its nature.
2. Unfalsifiable theories
a. Philosophical preferences, however, cannot be falsified, even
as indicated by the quotes below.
b. When a theory is formulated merely from philosophical
preferences without any observations necessitating it, then that
theory is likely to be un-falsifiable by its nature.
“Positivism, Logical Positivism and Logical Empiricism, The earlier Positivism of Viennese heritage,
The verifiability criterion of meaning and its offshoots – It was in coming to this juncture in his critique
of Positivism that Karl Popper, an Austro-English philosopher of science, in his Logik der Forschung
(1935; The Logic of Scientific Discovery, 1959), insisted that the meaning criterion should be
abandoned and replaced by a criterion of demarcation between empirical (scientific) and
transempirical (nonscientific, metaphysical) questions and answers—a criterion that, according to
Popper, is to be testability, or, in his own version, falsifiability; i.e., refutability. Popper was impressed
169
by how easy it is to supposedly verify all sorts of assertions—those of psychoanalytic theories seemed to
him to be abhorrent examples. But the decisive feature, as Popper saw it, should be whether it is in
principle conceivable that evidence could be cited that would refute (or disconfirm) a given law,
hypothesis, or theory.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Science – A theory developed by a scientist cannot be accepted as part of scientific knowledge until it
has been verified by the studies of other researchers. In fact, for any knowledge to be truly scientific,
it must be repeatedly tested experimentally and found to be true. This characteristic of science sets it
apart from other branches of knowledge. For example, the humanities, which include religion,
philosophy, and the arts, deal with ideas about human nature and the meaning of life. Such ideas cannot be
scientifically proved. There is no test that tells whether a philosophical system is "right." No one can
determine scientifically what feeling an artist tried to express in a painting. Nor can anyone perform an
experiment to check for an error in a poem or a symphony.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Joseph W.
Dauben, Ph.D., Professor of History and the History of Science, City University of New York.
c.
When a theory is accepted merely out of philosophical
preference while competing theories are rejected merely out of
philosophical preference and not because of the evidence, then
that theory is most certainly un-falsifiable.
3. The Big Bang model is unfalsifiable and unscientific because in
contrast to both the Steady-State model and the creationist model, it is
based and accepted on philosophical preferences and not on observed
evidence.
a. Big Bang theory has been accepted and creationist cosmology
rejected…
i. Despite the Big Bang’s lack of an actual working
theory for areas where the theory makes its defining
claims…
1. the initial explosion,
2. the fractions of seconds that immediately
follow the explosion,
3. or the formation of the structures of the
universe since that time
ii. Despite the fact that the evidence in these areas has
so far proved to be irreconcilable with evolutionary
Big Bang cosmology
iii. Despite the Big Bang theory’s “unsatisfactory status”
with regard to the lack of working explanations and
irroncilability with the observed evidence.
iv. Even though it is admitted by secular and
evolutionary sources that observations, which pose
problems for the Big Bang model, require foresight
and fine-tuning balance in order to be solved.
v. Even though current expansion and isotropy, the only
2 actual observations incorporated into the Big Bang
model, are equally fitting to the creationist model.
vi. In contrast with Creationism, Big Bang theory has proven to be un-falsifiable
because the basis of its acceptance is not observation and evidence but
philosophical preference, which cannot be tested or falsified.
1. Comparison
a. Creationists repeatedly argue for how the observed evidence
actually proves creationism.
i. Thus, creationism is not detached from the evidence.
b. Evolutionists admit that they accept the theory despite the fact
that its central claims do not fit with the observable evidence
and also fail to provide a functional explanation.
170
2.
3.
i. Thus, as evidenced by the quotes above, evolutionists
admit that they accept the Big Bang theory despite
the fact that the observable evidence disproves its
current formulations.
A theory becomes un-falsifiable when its claims become detached from
the evidence.
a. This happens in one of 2 ways.
i. First, when a theory’s primary claims are defined in
such a way that they have no relationship to the
observable evidence.
ii. Second, when the theory itself is accepted despite the
fact that its primary claims have been disproved by
the evidence.
Big Bang theory is un-falsifiable because in light of the admissions by
evolutionists that Big Bang theory does not work with the observed
evidence, Big Bang theory has shifted its claims to be less specific so
that the theory will no longer be vulnerable to disproof by testing it
against observations.
a. Big Bang theory, augmented by inflation theory, is accepted as
“the theory of choice among nearly all astronomers” despite…
i. its “unresolved internal difficulties,”
ii. its lack of an actual working theory for the formation
of the universe’s structures, “shortcomings,”
iii. the “need for major modifications,”
iv. a resulting “incompleteness.”
b. By contrast, the problem with the Steady-State model, the
alternative to the Big Bang model, was that…
i. it “had the virtue of making very specific predictions,
ii. it was vulnerable to observational disproof.”
“Cosmos, Cosmological models, The very early universe, Inflation – As influential as inflation has
been in guiding modern cosmological thought, it has not resolved all internal difficulties…Steady
state theory and other alternative cosmologies – Big bang cosmology, augmented by the ideas of
inflation, remains the theory of choice among nearly all astronomers, but, apart from the difficulties
discussed above, no consensus has been reached concerning the origin in the cosmic gas of
fluctuations thought to produce the observed galaxies, clusters, and superclusters. Most astronomers
would interpret these shortcomings as indications of the incompleteness of the development of the
theory, but it is conceivable that major modifications are needed…However, the apparent difficulty
motivated Bondi, Hoyle, and Gold to offer the alternative theory of steady state cosmology in 1948. By
that year, of course, the universe was known to be expanding; therefore, the only way to explain a
constant (steady state) matter density was to postulate the continuous creation of matter to offset the
attenuation caused by the cosmic expansion. This aspect was physically very unappealing to many
people, who consciously or unconsciously preferred to have all creation completed in virtually one instant
in the big bang. In the steady state theory the average age of matter in the universe is one-third the Hubble
time, but any given galaxy could be older or younger than this mean value. Thus, the steady state theory
had the virtue of making very specific predictions, and for this reason it was vulnerable to
observational disproof.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
c.
“making predictions,” which are “specific” enough to be
“vulnerable to disproof” by observations, is intended as a
contrast to Big Bang cosmology, which has survived when
Steady-State has not.
i. Big Bang cosmology has survived (while SteadyState cosmology has not) because Big Bang
cosmology does not suffer from this same “virtue” of
171
d.
“making very specific predictions” which make it
“vulnerable to observational disproof.”
(As a side note, adherents to Big Bang cosmology criticize
Steady-State theory as both un-falsifiable and yet falsified
with regard to the very same point.)
i. Steady-State theory was “vulnerable to disproof”
regarding its “very specific prediction” in which it
“postulated the continuous creation of matter.”
ii. However, Steady-State theory’s claim about the
continuous creation of matter was “much too low to
be observationally tested” or “verified.”
“Cosmology, III MODERN COSMOLOGY, B Steady-State Theory – In the 1940s British scientists
Hermann Bondi, Thomas Gold, and Fred Hoyle were philosophically opposed to the requirements that
the big bang theory put forth for the extreme conditions in the early universe. The big bang theory was
framed in terms of what they called the cosmological principle-that the universe is homogeneous (the same
in all locations) and isotropic (looks the same in all directions) on a large scale. Bondi, Gold, and Hoyle
suggested an additional postulate, which they called the perfect cosmological principle. This principle
stated that the universe is not only homogeneous and isotropic but also looks the same at all times.
Since the universe is expanding, though, one might think that the density of the universe would
decrease. Such a decrease would be a change that would not fit with the perfect cosmological principle.
Bondi, Gold, and Hoyle thus suggested that matter could be continuously created out of nothing to
maintain the density over time. The rate at which matter would have to be created was much too low
to be observationally testable, however. They called this theory the steady-state theory.” –
"Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights
reserved.
“Steady-State Theory, II THE STEADY-STATE THEORY – Therefore, the steady-state theory says
that new matter must form as existing matter spreads apart…The amount of mass that would form
under the steady-state theory is so small that it would be too small for scientists to measure for
verification.” – "Steady-State Theory," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft
Corporation. All rights reserved.
iii. It is one thing to say that particular points of a theory
have been falsified but that the theory as a whole is
un-falsifiable.
1. Here there is a distinction between an
individual point and the whole theory.
2. This distinction allows for the 2 different
objects (the individual point and the whole
theory) to be categorized separately.
iv. It is another thing to say that a particular point of a
theory is itself both falsified and un-falsifiable.
1. Here there is no such distinction, but the
same object, the particular point, is deemed
as both un-falsifiable and as having been
falsified at the same time.
2. Evolution theory is asserting that SteadyState theory is un-falsifiable in its prediction
that matter is continuously created out of
nothing and at the same time regarding that
very same prediction as being falsified
because it was so specific that it was
“vulnerable to disproof by observation.”
v. This is much similar to the common charge by
evolutionists that creationism’s main claims are both
172
un-falsifiable while also simultaneously charging that
those very same claims have been falsified.
vii. Conclusions on Philosophical Preferences of the Big Bang theory and
Unfalsifiability
1. Big Bang evolutionary theory suffers from the criticisms that it levies
against its competition.
2. Big Bang theory is un-falsifiable because it is held without regard for
what the evidence actually indicates.
a. Big Bang evolutionists admit that their theory does not fit with
observations and yet they hold to it anyway.
3. The definition of Big Bang theory is shifting to a more vague series of
claims so devoid of specifics that the theory is no longer vulnerable to
falsification by the observed evidence (that contradicts it).
a. This shift to more vague claims, which don’t specify a testable
relationship to the evidence, results in the lack of any actual
working theory on central issues of…
i. the universe’s formation,
ii. its origin
iii. the development of its major structures.
4. On both of those issues, we have seen that evolution lacks any specific,
working theory but instead reverts merely to the more vague, untestable claim that the universe, life, and species originate from
undefined, unidentified automatic, routine processes that proceed
without foresight.
a. Big Bang cosmology has simply reverted to the vague, bare
minimum claim that the universe came into existence by
unobserved, undefined, unidentified automatic, routine
processes that proceed without foresight.
b. This is the exact same status that we have seen concerning the
evolutionary claims about the origin of life and the origin of
species as well.
5. Because this is the case for evolutionary cosmology, our second
definitional point for evolutionary theory is not biased but accurate
when it asserts the following conclusion.
2) …Despite the lack of even a working speculation for how automatic, routine processes could cause the
existing structures and their distribution, nevertheless an automatic, routine process is advanced as the
cause and it is hoped that a working scenario can be conceived and articulated at some point in the future.
XIII. Focus on Critical Evidence: Understanding the Cosmological Model
A. Preview –
i. In this segment, we will examine…
1. What the modern cosmological model is,
2. where it came from,
3. the key components of it.
ii. This will allow us to understand…
1. the role of expansion in that model
2. the role of the known evidence about expansion that is ignored in order
for evolutionary cosmology to continue.
B. The Big Bang model is based upon 3 foundational assumptions, which are not
necessitated by the observations.
i. The first assumption is homogeneity.
1. Homogeneity refers to having a “uniform structure or composition
throughout.”
173
“Homogeneity – 1: the quality or state of being homogeneous.” – Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate
Dictionary
“Homogeneous – 1: of the same or a similar kind or nature 2: of uniform structure or composition
throughout.” – Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
“Cosmos, Relativistic cosmologies, Einstein’s model – To derive his 1917 cosmological model, Einstein
made three assumptions that lay outside the scope of his equations. The first was to suppose that the
universe is homogeneous and isotropic in the large (i.e., the same everywhere on average at any instant in
time), an assumption that the English astrophysicist Edward A. Milne later elevated to an entire
philosophical outlook by naming it the cosmological principle.’” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe
Edition
“Steady-State Theory, II THE STEADY-STATE THEORY – Both the big bang theory and the
steady-state theory are based on what Bondi called the "cosmological principle." This principle
states that on a large scale, the universe is homogeneous, meaning the universe looks about the same
at every point, and isotropic, meaning the universe looks the same in every direction. Homogeneity and
isotropy are not the same-for example, a universe that grows denser with distance from the observer
would still look isotropic even though it is not homogeneous.” – "Steady-State Theory," Microsoft®
Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Cosmology, III MODERN COSMOLOGY, B Steady-State Theory – The big bang theory was
framed in terms of what they called the cosmological principle-that the universe is homogeneous (the
same in all locations) and isotropic (looks the same in all directions) on a large scale.” – "Cosmology,"
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
2.
Homogeneity is intended to apply only to the universe on the large
scale.
a. Homogeneity is not intended to apply to the smaller-scale or
local level of the universe.
i. Thus, there may be a lack of homogeneity on smaller
levels or regions of the universe.
b. In particular, as indicated by the quotes below, homogeneity is
said to be at work only on the very largest scale, superclusters,
with dimensions larger than 100,000,000 light years.
i. In other words, there is no “clustering of
superclusters.”
ii. Superclusters are evenly distributed throughout the
universe.
“Cosmos, Large-scale structure and expansion of the universe – Hubble inferred a uniformity in the
spatial distribution of galaxies through number counts in deep photographic surveys of selected areas of
the sky. This inference applies only to scales larger than several times [100,000,000] light-years. On
smaller scales, galaxies tend to bunch together in clusters and superclusters, and Hubble deliberately
avoided the more conspicuous examples in order not to bias his results. This clustering did excite
debate among both observers and theorists in the earliest discussions of cosmology, particularly over
the largest dimensions where there are still appreciable departures from homogeneity and over the
ultimate cause of the departures. In the 1950s and early 1960s, however, attention tended to focus on
homogeneous cosmological models because of the competing ideas of the big bang and steady state
scenarios. Only after the discovery of the cosmic microwave background—which, together with the
successes of primordial nucleosynthesis, signaled a clear victory for the hot big bang picture—did the
issue of departures from homogeneity in the universe again attract widespread interest.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Cosmos, Large-scale structure and expansion of the universe, Clustering of galaxies, Superclusters –
In 1932 Harlow Shapley and Adelaide Ames introduced a catalog that showed the distributions of
174
galaxies brighter than 13th magnitude to be quite different north and south of the plane of the Galaxy.
Their study was the first to indicate that the universe might contain substantial regions that departed
from the assumption of homogeneity and isotropy…Also apparent in the Shapley-Ames maps were
three independent concentrations of galaxies, separate superclusters viewed from a distance.
Astronomers now believe superclusters fill perhaps 10 percent of the volume of the universe. Most
galaxies, groups, and clusters belong to superclusters, the space between superclusters being
relatively empty. The dimensions of superclusters range up to a few times [100,000,000] light-years. For
larger scales the distribution of galaxies is essentially homogeneous and isotropic—that is, there is no
evidence for the clustering of superclusters.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
ii. The second assumption is isotropy.
1. Isotropy refers to the idea that on a large scale the universe “looks the
same in all directions.”
“Cosmos, Relativistic cosmologies, Einstein’s model – To derive his 1917 cosmological model, Einstein
made three assumptions that lay outside the scope of his equations. The first was to suppose that the
universe is homogeneous and isotropic in the large (i.e., the same everywhere on average at any instant in
time), an assumption that the English astrophysicist Edward A. Milne later elevated to an entire
philosophical outlook by naming it the cosmological principle.’” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe
Edition
“Cosmology, III MODERN COSMOLOGY, B Steady-State Theory – The big bang theory was
framed in terms of what they called the cosmological principle-that the universe is homogeneous (the
same in all locations) and isotropic (looks the same in all directions) on a large scale.” – "Cosmology,"
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
iii. Homogeneity and isotropy are not the same.
1. A universe may look isotropic without being homogeneous.
“Steady-State Theory, II THE STEADY-STATE THEORY – Both the big bang theory and the
steady-state theory are based on what Bondi called the "cosmological principle." This principle
states that on a large scale, the universe is homogeneous, meaning the universe looks about the same at
every point, and isotropic, meaning the universe looks the same in every direction. Homogeneity and
isotropy are not the same-for example, a universe that grows denser with distance from the observer
would still look isotropic even though it is not homogeneous.” – "Steady-State Theory," Microsoft®
Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
2.
Isotropy is a concept based upon how the universe looks from the earth.
a. This is implicit in common sense because where else would
we have observed the universe from besides the earth?
“Universe, Size of the universe – No one knows for sure whether the universe is finite (limited) or infinite
in size. Observations of the sky with optical telescopes indicate that there are at least 100 billion
galaxies in the observable universe. Measurements show that the most distant galaxies observed to date
are about 12 billion to 13 billion light-years from Earth. They appear in every direction across the sky.”
– Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy and Physics, Boston
University.
“Universe, Size of the universe – Observations of the sky with optical telescopes indicate that there
are at least 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe. Measurements show that the most distant
galaxies observed to date are about 12 billion to 13 billion light-years from Earth. They appear in every
direction across the sky.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy
and Physics, Boston University.
3.
Because isotropy is based upon how the universe looks from earth,
isotropy is an assumption that is based upon observation.
175
a.
(In contrast, homogeneity and the extrapolation of a Big Bang
explosion are not assumptions based on observation.)
4. When isotropy makes claims about how the universe would look from
other locations besides the earth, then it too becomes an assumption
that goes beyond the observable evidence.
a. This is because we simply have no observations of the
universe from any other location beside the earth on which to
base such an extrapolation of isotropy.
5. Isotropy is just as much a part of the creationist model as it is the
evolutionary model.
a. In fact, for reasons that will be described later on, isotropy is
arguably more indicative of the creationist model than the
evolutionary model.
iv. An additional assumption of modern cosmological models is that the universe
has no edge or boundary (regardless of whether or not it is finite or infinite.)
1. Consequently, the idea that the universe has no boundary or edge
results in a universe with no center.
“Big-bang model – The big-bang model is based on two assumptions. The first is that Albert Einstein's
general theory of relativity correctly describes the gravitational interaction of all matter. The second
assumption, called the cosmological principle, states that an observer's view of the universe depends
neither on the direction in which he looks nor on his location. This principle applies only to the large-scale
properties of the universe, but it does imply that the universe has no edge, so that the big-bang origin
occurred not at a particular point in space but rather throughout space at the same time.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
C. Using these assumptions the Big Bang model assumes that all matter is evenly distributed
throughout the universe and there is no center to the distribution of that matter.
i. As such, there are no “special” locations in the universe because all parts of the
universe are uniform.
ii. It could be said that the assumption that there is “no special place” in the
universe forms the basis of the other assumptions.
1. For example, Einstein’s original model, including its assumptions about
homogeneity and isotropy, were outgrowths of what is known as “the
Copernican revolution” or “the Copernican principle.”
“Cosmos, Relativistic cosmologies, Einstein’s model – To derive his 1917 cosmological model,
Einstein made three assumptions that lay outside the scope of his equations. The first was to suppose
that the universe is homogeneous and isotropic in the large (i.e., the same everywhere on average at
any instant in time), an assumption that the English astrophysicist Edward A. Milne later elevated to an
entire philosophical outlook by naming it the cosmological principle. Given the success of the
Copernican revolution, this outlook is a natural one.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
a.
History of the Copernican Principle
i. Nicolaus Copernicus was a scientists in the 1540’s
A.D., who asserted that the earth was not the center
of the universe as the Greek philosopher Aristotle has
supposed, but instead, the sun was the center.
“Astronomy, Observing the sky, Earth-centered theories – Ancient scholars produced elaborate
schemes to account for the observed movements of the stars, sun, moon, and planets. In the 300's
B.C., the Greek philosopher Aristotle developed a system of 56 spheres, all with the same center. The
innermost sphere, which did not move, was Earth…Sun-centered theories – By the early 1500's, the
Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus had developed a theory in which the sun was at the center of
the universe.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Jay M. Pasachoff, Ph.D., Field Memorial Professor of
Astronomy and Director, Hopkins Observatory of Williams College.
176
“Cosmology, II EVOLUTION OF COSMOLOGICAL THEORIES, A Ancient Cosmologies – Until
the 16th century, most people (including early astronomers) considered the earth to be at the center of
the universe…B Sun-Centered Universe – The ideas of Ptolemy were accepted in an age when standards
of scientific accuracy and proof had not yet been developed. Even when Polish astronomer Nicolaus
Copernicus developed his model of a sun-centered universe in the 1540s, he based his ideas on
philosophy instead of new observations. Copernicus's theory was simpler and therefore more sound
philosophically than the idea of an earth-centered universe…By the mid-17th century, most scientists
in western Europe accepted the Copernican universe.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta®
Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
b.
Impact of Copernicus’ model
i. Copernicus unseated the idea that the earth had a
special location in the universe as a result of divine
purpose.
ii. It is this principle, that the earth does not have a
special place in the universe, which evolutionary
cosmologists admit was the assumption that “lead
directly to” the Big Bang model.
“The idea that we are not located in a special spatial location has been crucial in cosmology leading
directly to the [big bang theory].” – Richear Gott (Ph. D. Astrophysics), Implications of the Copernican
principle for our future prospects, Nature, 1993 (Cited on “Astronomy and the Bible,” Mike Riddle,
Copyright Northwester Creation Network, nwcreation.net)
iii. Concerning Einstein’s assumptions about the uniform
distribution of matter in the universe Britannica
stated, “Given the success of the Copernican
revolution, this outlook is a natural one.”
iii. A important clarification on the terms “bound” and “unbound”
1. Often in cosmology, you will find the terms “bound” and “unbound
universe.”
2. These terms do NOT refer to whether or not the universe has an edge or
boundary.
a. The terms “open” or “unbound universe” refer, not to whether
or not it has an edge or boundary, but instead refer to the
notion that the universe will continue to expand forever.
b. The terms “closed” or “bound universe” refer to the notion
that the universe will not expand forever, but will one day stop
expanding and eventually collapse in a process opposite the
big bang.
“Cosmos – The issue of how the universe will end seems, at first sight, more amenable to conventional
analysis. Because the universe is currently expanding, one may ask whether this expansion will
continue into the indefinite future or whether after the passage of some finite time, the expansion will
be reversed by the gravitational attraction of all of the matter for itself. The procedure for answering this
question seems straightforward: either measure directly the rate of deceleration in the expansion of
the galaxies to extrapolate whether they will eventually come to a halt, or measure the total amount
of matter in the universe to see if there is enough to supply the gravitation needed to make the
universe bound. Unfortunately, astronomers' assaults on both fronts have been stymied by two
unforeseen circumstances. First, it is now conceded that earlier attempts to measure the deceleration
rate have been affected by evolutionary effects of unknown magnitude in the observed galaxies that
invalidate the simple interpretations. Second, it is recognized that within the Cosmos there may be an
unknown amount of “hidden mass,” which cannot be seen by conventional astronomical techniques
but which contributes substantially to the gravitation of the universe. The hope is that, somehow,
177
quantum physics will ultimately supply theoretical answers (which can then be tested observationally
and experimentally) to each of these difficulties.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Cosmos, Relativistic cosmologies, Bound and unbound universes and the closure density – The
different separation behaviours of galaxies at large time scales in the Friedmann closed and open models
and the Einstein–de Sitter model allow a different classification scheme than one based on the global
structure of space-time. The alternative way of looking at things is in terms of gravitationally bound and
unbound systems: closed models where galaxies initially separate but later come back together again
represent bound universes; open models where galaxies continue to separate forever represent
unbound universes; the Einstein–de Sitter model where galaxies separate forever but slow to a halt at
infinite time represents the critical case. The advantage of this alternative view is that it focuses attention
on local quantities where it is possible to think in the simpler terms of Newtonian physics—attractive
forces, for example. In this picture it is intuitively clear that the feature that should distinguish whether or
not gravity is capable of bringing a given expansion rate to a halt depends on the amount of mass
(per unit volume) present. This is indeed the case; the Newtonian and relativistic formalisms give the
same criterion for the critical, or closure, density (in mass equivalent of matter and radiation) that
separates closed or bound universes from open or unbound ones…If the actual cosmic average is
greater than this value, the universe is bound (closed) and, though currently expanding, will end in a
crush of unimaginable proportion. If it is less, the universe is unbound (open) and will expand
forever.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Cosmology, III MODERN COSMOLOGY, D The Universe Through Time – A fundamental issue
addressed in cosmology is the future of the universe-whether the universe will expand forever or
eventually collapse. The first case (eternal expansion) is known as an open universe, and the second
case (eventual collapse) is known as a closed universe. A closed universe would require sufficiently
high density to cause gravity to stop the universe's expansion and begin its contraction.” –
"Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights
reserved.
“Cosmology, IV COSMOLOGICAL EVIDENCE – For a universe with very low density, the age of
the universe would be directly related to its expansion rate. This universe would expand forever; this
eternal expansion defines an open universe. If, on the other hand, the density of a universe is
sufficiently high, the expansion rate is changing-slowing down as the universe ages. This universe
would eventually stop expanding and begin contracting, which defines it as a closed universe.” –
"Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights
reserved.
3.
Currently, the question of whether or not the universe is bound or
unbound, whether or not it will expand forever or eventually collapse
back together, is considered unresolved in modern cosmology.
“Cosmos, Relativistic cosmologies, The ultimate fate of the universe – In the absence of definitive
observational conclusions, one can only speculate on the possible fate of the actual universe. If the
universe is unbound, the cosmological expansion will not halt, and eventually the galaxies and stars will
all die, leaving the Cosmos a cold, dark, and virtually empty place. If the universe is bound, the massenergy content in the distant but finite future will come together again; the cosmic background
radiation will be blueshifted, raising the temperature of matter and radiation to incredible levels, perhaps to
reforge everything in the fiery crucible of the big squeeze. Because of the development of structure in
previous epochs, the big squeeze may not occur simultaneously everywhere at the end of time as its
explosive counterpart, the big bang, seems to have done at the beginning of time. Discussions of
recurring cycles of expansions and contractions thus remain highly speculative.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Universe, The future of the universe – Many studies indicate that the universe will continue to
expand. Measurements of the brightness and redshift of supernovae in distant galaxies suggest that at
the present time the expansion of the universe is accelerating. Observations of the CMB radiation
178
provide evidence that the universe has the appropriate mixture of matter and energy to continue
expanding. Both of these types of studies give similar predictions for the rate at which the universe is
expanding. Theories of the universe based on the German-born physicist Albert Einstein's theory of
general relativity allow for the possibility that all of the matter in the universe could come back
together again in a big crunch. This would happen if the gravitational pull of all of the universe's
matter was strong enough to overcome its expansion. The entire universe would eventually collapse
and then explode, entering a new phase that might resemble the present one. However, studies of the
CMB radiation strongly suggest that the universe has an infinite mass and volume and that it will expand
forever.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy and Physics, Boston
University.
The theoretical question of “bound or unbound” deals with
understanding what will happen in the future
i. As such, it is not as important as the fact that
evolutionary cosmology lacks an actual, working
theory concerning the past events that brought about
the universe that we do see today.
b. A working origins theory must explain how the known
conditions of the present arrived, but it does not need to define
what will happen in a future.
i. Since the future is unknown, it is perfectly acceptable
for a theory not to be able to explain its unidentified
characteristics.
ii. But, any viable origins theory must be able to explain
the identified characteristics that know exist at the
present.
D. The significance of the “no edge or boundary” concept to Big Bang theory
i. The significance of the “no edge or boundary” concept to Big Bang theory is
articulated in the following quote by Isaac Newton.
1. If there is an edge to the distribution of matter, then there is also a
center.
2. As Newton explains, if the universe has a center, then that center of
matter is also a center of gravity, which in turn would pull all the matter
back toward that central location.
a.
“Cosmos, Large-scale structure and expansion of the universe, Gravitational theories of clustering –
The fact that gravitation affects all masses may explain why the astronomical universe, although not
uniform, contains structure. This natural idea, which is the basis of much of the modern theoretical
work on the problem, had already occurred to Newton in 1692. Newton wrote to the noted English
scholar and clergyman Richard Bentley: ‘It seems to me, that if the matter of our Sun & Planets & all ye
matter in the Universe was eavenly scattered throughout all the heavens, & every particle had an
innate gravity towards all the rest & the whole space throughout wch [sic] this matter was scattered
was but finite: the matter on ye outside of this space would by its gravity tend towards all ye matter
on the inside & by consequence fall down to ye middle of the whole space & there compose one great
spherical mass. But if the matter was eavenly diffused through an infinite space, it would never
convene into one mass but some of it convene into one mass & some into another so as to make an
infinite number of great masses scattered at great distances from one to another throughout all yt
infinite space. And thus might ye Sun and Fixt stars be formed supposing the matter were of a lucid
nature.’” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
3.
Space being “infinite” was proposed by Newton as a solution to the
problem of a gravity well at the center if space were finite.
a. Specifically take note of Newton’s phrase “ye Sun and Fixt
stars.”
179
Notice that Britannica’s comment on Einstein’s model describes
Einstein’s assumptions as an outgrowth of Newton’s model, even with
a reference to Newton’s phrase, “ye Sun and Fixt stars.”
ii. The “no boundary or edge” assumption is also essential to Einstein’s model.
1. Einstein’s model altered the model proposed by Newton by addressing
the gravity well problem by supposing that space is curved like the
surface of a sphere or a balloon.
a. Einstein proposed “curved space” as a solution to the gravity
well problem.
i. Because there is no center to the surface of a sphere,
the problem of a center with a gravity well was
avoided.
b. In Einstein’s model, parallel lines actually converge due to the
warping and bending (i.e. curving) effect of gravity upon
space.
4.
“Cosmos, Relativistic cosmologies, Einstein's model – To derive his 1917 cosmological model,
Einstein made three assumptions that lay outside the scope of his equations. The first was to suppose
that the universe is homogeneous and isotropic in the large (i.e., the same everywhere on average at
any instant in time), an assumption that the English astrophysicist Edward A. Milne later elevated to an
entire philosophical outlook by naming it the cosmological principle. Given the success of the
Copernican revolution, this outlook is a natural one. Newton himself had it implicitly in mind in his
letter to Bentley (see above) when he took the initial state of the Cosmos to be everywhere the same
before it developed ‘ye Sun and Fixt stars.’ The second assumption was to suppose that this
homogeneous and isotropic universe had a closed spatial geometry. As described in the previous
section, the total volume of a three-dimensional space with uniform positive curvature would be finite
but possess no edges or boundaries (to be consistent with the first assumption).” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Cosmos, Cosmological models, Early cosmological ideas – When one looks to great distances, one is
seeing things as they were a long time ago, again because light takes a finite time to travel to Earth. Over
such great spans, do the classical notions of Euclid concerning the properties of space necessarily
continue to hold? The answer given by Einstein was: No, the gravitation of the mass contained in
cosmologically large regions may warp one's usual perceptions of space and time; in particular, the
Euclidean postulate that parallel lines never cross need not be a correct description of the geometry
of the actual universe. And in 1917 Einstein presented a mathematical model of the universe in which
the total volume of space was finite yet had no boundary or edge. The model was based on his theory
of general relativity that utilized a more generalized approach to geometry devised in the 19th century by
the German mathematician Bernhard Riemann.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Big-bang model – The big-bang model is based on two assumptions. The first is that Albert
Einstein's general theory of relativity correctly describes the gravitational interaction of all matter.
The second assumption, called the cosmological principle, states that an observer's view of the universe
depends neither on the direction in which he looks nor on his location. This principle applies only to the
large-scale properties of the universe, but it does imply that the universe has no edge, so that the bigbang origin occurred not at a particular point in space but rather throughout space at the same time.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
2.
Einstein did not need to suppose that space was infinite as Newton did,
but was free to propose that space was finite.
a. As a result the question of whether or not the universe is
infinite or finite became more or less irrelevant to
cosmological models.
i. Whether or not the universe is infinite or finite
remains an unresolved question in modern
evolutionary theory.
180
“Cosmology, II EVOLUTION OF COSMOLOGICAL THEORIES, C Newton and Beyond –
Beginning in the 17th century, scientists wondered why the sky was dark at night if space is indeed
infinite (an idea proposed in ancient Greece and still accepted by most cosmologists today) and stars are
distributed throughout that infinite space.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. ©
1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Cosmos, Cosmological models, Early cosmological ideas – Immediate issues that arise when anyone
contemplates the universe at large are whether space and time are infinite or finite. And after many
centuries of thought by some of the best minds, humanity has still not arrived at conclusive answers
to these questions.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Universe, Size of the universe – No one knows for sure whether the universe is finite (limited) or
infinite in size. Observations of the sky with optical telescopes indicate that there are at least 100 billion
galaxies in the observable universe. Measurements show that the most distant galaxies observed to date are
about 12 billion to 13 billion light-years from Earth. They appear in every direction across the sky.” –
Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy and Physics, Boston University.
iii. Learning about modern cosmology by following the progression of the theory
about the shape of the universe.
1. Einstein’s model
a. Einstein’s model is that the overall shape of the universe could
be described analogously to the surface of a sphere, in which
parallel lines would converge due to the bending or curving of
space by gravity.
b. In the first illustration Einstein’s original 1917 model of space
(not time) as a piece of graph paper “rolled up into a cylinder
on its side.”
“Cosmos, Gravitation and the geometry of space-time – The principle of equivalence in general
relativity allows the locally flat space-time structure of special relativity to be warped by gravitation,
so that (in the cosmological case) the propagation of the photon over thousands of millions of light-years
can no longer be plotted on a globally flat sheet of paper. To be sure, the curvature of the paper may
not be apparent when only a small piece is examined, thereby giving the local impression that spacetime is flat (i.e., satisfies special relativity). It is only when the graph paper is examined globally that
one realizes it is curved (i.e., satisfies general relativity). In Einstein's 1917 model of the universe, the
curvature occurs only in space, with the graph paper being rolled up into a cylinder on its side, a loop
around the cylinder at constant time having a circumference of 2?R—the total spatial extent of the
universe. Notice that the “radius of the universe” is measured in a “direction” perpendicular to the spacetime surface of the graph paper. Since the ringed space axis corresponds to one of three dimensions of
the actual world (any will do since all directions are equivalent in an isotropic model), the radius of
the universe exists in a fourth spatial dimension (not time) which is not part of the real world. This
fourth spatial dimension is a mathematical artifice introduced to represent diagrammatically the
solution (in this case) of equations for curved three-dimensional space that need not refer to any
dimensions other than the three physical ones. Photons traveling in a straight line in any physical
direction have trajectories that go diagonally (at 45° angles to the space and time axes) from corner to
corner of each little square cell of the space-time grid; thus, they describe helical paths on the cylindrical
surface of the graph paper, making one turn after traveling a spatial distance 2?R. In other words, always
flying dead ahead, photons would return to where they started from after going a finite distance
without ever coming to an edge or boundary. The distance to the “other side” of the universe is
therefore ?R, and it would lie in any and every direction; space would be closed on itself. Now, except
by analogy with the closed two-dimensional surface of a sphere that is uniformly curved toward a
centre in a third dimension lying nowhere on the two-dimensional surface, no three-dimensional
creature can visualize a closed three-dimensional volume that is uniformly curved toward a centre in a
fourth dimension lying nowhere in the three-dimensional volume. Nevertheless, three-dimensional
181
creatures could discover the curvature of their three-dimensional world by performing surveying
experiments of sufficient spatial scope.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Cosmology, II EVOLUTION OF COSMOLOGICAL THEORIES, D Discovering the Structure of
the Universe – In 1915 German-American physicist Albert Einstein, who was working in Switzerland,
advanced a theory of gravitation known as the general theory of relativity. His theory involves a fourdimensional space-time continuum that bends in the presence of massive objects. This bending causes
light and other objects that are moving near these massive objects to follow a curved path, just as a golfer's
ball curves on a warped putting green. In this way, Einstein explained gravity.” – "Cosmology,"
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Einstein’s 1917 model was later modified by Russian
meteorologist and mathematician Aleksandr A. Friedmann in
1922 and Georges Lemaitre in 1927.
d. As Einstein’s original model of the universe was modified, the
illustrations for the “shape” of the universe were also
modified.
Friedmann and Lemaitre’s models…
a. along with Einstein’s, still provide the basis of cosmology
today.
c.
2.
“Cosmology, II EVOLUTION OF COSMOLOGICAL THEORIES, D Discovering the Structure of
the Universe – Einstein's theory also made several predictions that were not part of Newton's theory. When
these predictions were verified, Einstein's theory was accepted. Einstein's equations were very
complicated, though, and it was other scientists who eventually found widely accepted solutions to
Einstein's equations. Most of cosmology today is based on the set of solutions found in the 1920s by
Russian mathematician Alexander Friedmann. Dutch astronomer Willem de Sitter and Belgian
astronomer Georges Lemaitre also developed cosmological models based on solutions to Einstein's
equations. ” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation.
All rights reserved.
b.
c.
correspond to “big bang cosmologies,” meaning that they are
earlier Big Bang cosmological models and they are part of the
evolution to the current form of the Big Bang theory.
maintained Einstein’s assumptions of homogeneity and
isotropy.
“Cosmos, Relativistic cosmologies, Friedmann-Lemaître models – In 1922 Aleksandr A. Friedmann,
a Russian meteorologist and mathematician, and in 1927 Georges Lemaitre, the aforementioned
Belgian cleric, independently discovered solutions to Einstein's equations that contained realistic amounts
of matter. These evolutionary models correspond to big bang cosmologies. Friedmann and Lemaitre
adopted Einstein's assumption of spatial homogeneity and isotropy (the cosmological principle).” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Astrophysics, IV THE STUDY OF THE UNIVERSE – In 1922 the Russian astronomer Alexander
Friedmann proposed that the universe is everywhere filled with the same amount of matter. Using
Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity to calculate the gravitational effects, he showed that such a
system must originate in a singular state of infinite density (now called the big bang) and expand from that
state in just the way Hubble observed.” – "Astrophysics," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 19931998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
d.
rejected Einstein’s third assumption that the universe is static
and does not change with time.
i. Einstein’s 1917 model was effectively a primitive
form of the Steady-State model since Einstein’s third
assumption was that space doesn’t change over time.
182
“Cosmos, Relativistic cosmologies, Einstein’s model – To derive his 1917 cosmological model,
Einstein made three assumptions that lay outside the scope of his equations…The third assumption
made by Einstein was that the universe as a whole is static—i.e., its large-scale properties do not vary
with time. This assumption, made before Hubble's observational discovery of the expansion of the
universe…the philosophical attraction of the notion that the universe on average is not only
homogeneous and isotropic in space but also constant in time was so appealing that a school of English
cosmologists—Hermann Bondi, Fred Hoyle, and Thomas Gold—would call it the perfect cosmological
principle and carry its implications in the 1950s to the ultimate refinement in the so-called steady
state model.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
e.
by assuming that the universe evolved with time the models
proposed by Friedmann in 1922 and Lamaitre in 1927
“anticipated” Hubble’s discovery of expansion in 1929 (as
indicated by the second quote below).
“Cosmos, Relativistic cosmologies, Friedmann-Lemaître models – The decision to abandon a static
model meant that the Friedmann models evolve with time. As such, neighbouring pieces of matter
have recessional (or contractional) phases when they separate from (or approach) one another with
an apparent velocity that increases linearly with increasing distance. Friedmann's models thus
anticipated Hubble's law before it had been formulated on an observational basis. It was Lemaître,
however, who had the good fortune of deriving the results at the time when the recession of the
galaxies was being recognized as a fundamental cosmological observation, and it was he who clarified
the theoretical basis for the phenomenon.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Cosmology, II EVOLUTION OF COSMOLOGICAL THEORIES, D Discovering the Structure of
the Universe – In 1929 Hubble had measured enough spectra of galaxies to realize that the galaxies'
light, except for that of the few nearest galaxies, was shifted toward the red end of the visible
spectrum. This shift increased the more distant the galaxies were. Cosmologists soon interpreted these
red shifts as Doppler shifts, which showed that the galaxies were moving away from the earth…This
constant relationship between distance and speed led cosmologists to believe that the universe is
expanding uniformly.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft
Corporation. All rights reserved.
3.
Hubble’s discovery of expansion changes the “shape” of the universe.
a. Hubble’s discovery of expansion is so central to modern
cosmology because it…
i. marked the demise of Steady-State models, including
Einstein’s original 1917 model,
ii. proved that in the large-scale the universe was
changing over time, namely the change of expansion.
b. Tracing the changes of the cosmological shape through the
illustrations
i. Einstein’s original 1917 “cylinder” curve model was
altered in accordance with the work of Friedmann
and Lamaitre.
ii. The addition of “change over time” transformed
Einstein’s cylinder into the image of a “barrel on its
side,”
1. new curves at both ends of the “barrel”
representing that temporal change caused by
expansion.
“Cosmos, Relativistic cosmologies, Friedmann-Lemaître models – The geometry of space in
Friedmann's closed models is similar to that of Einstein's original model; however, there is a
curvature to time as well as one to space. Unlike Einstein's model, where time runs eternally at each
183
spatial point on an uninterrupted horizontal line that extends infinitely into the past and future, there is a
beginning and end to time in Friedmann's version of a closed universe when material expands from or
is recompressed to infinite densities. These instants are called the instants of the “big bang” and the
“big squeeze,” respectively. The global space-time diagram for the middle half of the expansioncompression phases can be depicted as a barrel lying on its side. The space axis corresponds again to any
one direction in the universe, and it wraps around the barrel. Through each spatial point runs a time axis
that extends along the length of the barrel on its (space-time) surface. Because the barrel is curved in
both space and time, the little squares in the grid of the curved sheet of graph paper marking the
space-time surface are of nonuniform size, stretching to become bigger when the barrel broadens
(universe expands) and shrinking to become smaller when the barrel narrows (universe contracts). It
should be remembered that only the surface of the barrel has physical significance; the dimension off
the surface toward the axle of the barrel represents the fourth spatial dimension, which is not part of
the real three-dimensional world. The space axis circles the barrel and closes upon itself after
traversing a circumference equal to 2?R, where R, the radius of the universe (in the fourth dimension), is
now a function of the time t. In a closed Friedmann model, R starts equal to zero at time t = 0 (not shown in
barrel diagram), expands to a maximum value at time t = t m (the middle of the barrel), and recontracts to
zero (not shown) at time t = 2t m, with the value of t m dependent on the total amount of mass that exists in
the universe.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
2.
This “barrel on its side” concept of the
universe is depicted in the following
illustration from Britannica Encyclopedia
and the subsequent caption below.
“Cosmos, Relativistic cosmologies, Friedmann-Lemaître models – Curved space-time in a matterdominated, closed universe during the middle half of its expansion-compression phases. At each instant of
time t, the space axis forms a closed loop with radius R(t), the so-called radius of the universe, in an
unobservable fourth dimension. – From F.H. Shu, The Physical Universe (1982); University Science
Books.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
184
4.
In 1932, Einstein and de Sitter proposed another modification to the
basic model.
a. This 1932 model assumed that space is infinite and curved,
and most importantly, it retained the assumptions of
homogeneity and isotropy.
“De Sitter, Willem – His work also helped familiarize astronomers with the theory of relativity
proposed by German-born American astronomer Albert Einstein…In 1932 Einstein and de Sitter
collaborated and refined both men's earlier cosmological theories to create the Einstein-de Sitter
model of the universe. This model was the first prediction that dark matter, or matter that does not emit
electromagnetic radiation and so had not yet been detected, should exist in the universe. See also
Cosmology; Big Bang Theory; Steady-State Theory.” – "De Sitter, Willem," Microsoft® Encarta®
Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Cosmos, Relativistic cosmologies, The Einstein–de Sitter universe – In 1932 Einstein and de Sitter
proposed that the cosmological constant should be set equal to zero, and they derived a homogeneous and
isotropic model that provides the separating case between the closed and open Friedmann models; i.e.,
Einstein and de Sitter assumed that the spatial curvature of the universe is neither positive nor
negative but rather zero. The spatial geometry of the Einstein–de Sitter universe is Euclidean (infinite
total volume), but space-time is not globally flat (i.e., not exactly the space-time of special relativity).
Time again commences with a big bang and the galaxies recede forever, but the recession rate
(Hubble's “constant”) asymptotically coasts to zero as time advances to infinity.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
b.
Although modified by additional support components, like
inflation theory, the Einstein-de Sitter Big Bang cosmology
remains the basic model today.
“Cosmos, Cosmological models, The very early universe, Inflation – Cosmic inflation serves a number
of useful purposes. First, the drastic stretching during inflation flattens any initial space curvature,
and so the universe after inflation will look exceedingly like an Einstein–de Sitter universe.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Cosmos, Relativistic cosmologies, Relativistic cosmologies, Einstein's model, The Einstein–de Sitter
universe – Because the geometry of space and the gross evolutionary properties are uniquely defined in
the Einstein–de Sitter model, many people with a philosophical bent have long considered it the most
fitting candidate to describe the actual universe. During the late 1970s strong theoretical support for
this viewpoint came from considerations of particle physics (the model of inflation to be discussed
below), and mounting, but as yet undefinitive, support also seems to be gathering from astronomical
observations.”
c.
The final modern concept of the model can be illustrated like
the surface of a “sphere” or “balloon,” as depicted in the
following illustration from Microsoft Encarta.
i. In the illustration and its caption, we can see how the
spherical surface of a balloon represents both the
“curvature” of space as well as how space expands.
185
“Expanding Universe Experiment – One way to understand the concept of an expanding universe is
to draw dots, representing galaxies, on a balloon. As the balloon is inflated, each dot moves away
from all the others. To a person viewing the universe from a galaxy, all other galaxies would seem to
be receding. The distant galaxies appear to be moving away faster than the near ones, which
demonstrates Hubble's law. Some astronomers believe that this expansion will continue forever, whereas
others think that at a certain point the universe will begin contracting. “ – Encarta, Microsoft Corporation.
All Rights Reserved.
E. Summary on Einstein’s 3 assumptions and the current model of the universe.
i. Only 2 out of Einstein’s 3 original assumptions have been retained in modern
cosmology.
1. Those 2 remaining assumptions are homogeneity and isotropy.
a. Both of these 2 assumptions reflect the notion that on the large
scale the distribution of matter in universe is roughly the same
everywhere.
ii. Einstein’s third assumption has since been disproved by expansion.
1. This assumption was that on the large scale the universe remains the
same over time, an assumption which
F. The Predominant Significance of the Copernical Principle in modern cosmological
models
i. Review
1. The Copernican Principle is the preference for a universe in which
earth, its solar system, and its galaxy are not near the center and have
no special place in the universe.
ii. The Copernican Controversy – Not an example of Christians hijacking science
1. The fact that the Roman Catholic Church of Copernicus’ day strongly
opposed his sun-centered theory is often cited as an analogy to modern
creationism.
a. The criticism is that creationism is a return to the backward
science of the Middle Ages under the Church in which
observable reality is suppressed by blind faith
2. This analogy of creationism to the Copernican controversy is not valid.
186
a.
Number one, the Roman Catholic Church was simply
upholding an ancient secular, Gentile, or Pagan cosmological
view put forward by Aristotle and Ptolemy, not the Bible.
i. Therefore, this historical episode is an example of the
problems that ensue when the texts of the Bible are
bent out of their context to support the ideas of
secular science.
“Astronomy, History – Aristotle's system of physics and astronomy, developed in the 300's B.C.,
survived for almost 2,000 years. In Aristotle's system of astronomy, Earth was the center of the
universe. During the A.D. 100's, Ptolemy modified Aristotle's system to account for the retrograde
motion of the planets. Ptolemy also maintained that Earth was the center of the universe, however.
Developing the modern view – By the early 1500's, Nicolaus Copernicus had developed a theory in
which Earth and the other planets revolved about the sun…In 1609, Galileo heard that an optical
device had been built that made distant objects appear closer. He soon built his own telescope. The
discoveries Galileo made with this instrument backed the Copernican theory over the theories of
Aristotle and Ptolemy. In 1616, however, the Roman Catholic Church warned Galileo not to teach that
Earth revolves about the sun. A book of Galileo's published in 1632 was interpreted as a violation of the
ban, and Galileo was put under house arrest. Only in 1992 did the Catholic Church confirm that
Galileo should not have been tried or convicted.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Jay M. Pasachoff, Ph.D.,
Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy and Director, Hopkins Observatory of Williams College.
“Cosmology, II EVOLUTION OF COSMOLOGICAL THEORIES, A Ancient Cosmologies – Until
the 16th century, most people (including early astronomers) considered the earth to be at the center of
the universe…B Sun-Centered Universe – The ideas of Ptolemy were accepted in an age when
standards of scientific accuracy and proof had not yet been developed. Even when Polish astronomer
Nicolaus Copernicus developed his model of a sun-centered universe in the 1540s, he based his ideas
on philosophy instead of new observations. Copernicus's theory was simpler and therefore more
sound philosophically than the idea of an earth-centered universe. A sun-centered universe neatly
explained why Mars appears to move backward across the sky: Because Earth is closer to the sun,
Earth moves faster than Mars. When Mars is ahead of or relatively far behind Earth, Mars appears to move
across Earth's night sky in the usual west-to-east direction. As Earth overtakes Mars, Mars's motion seems
to stop, then begin an east-to-west motion that stops and reverses when Earth moves far enough away
again. Copernicus's model also explained the daily and yearly motion of the sun and stars in the earth's sky.
Scientists were slow to accept Copernicus's model of the universe, but followers grew in number
throughout the 16th century. By the mid-17th century, most scientists in western Europe accepted the
Copernican universe.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft
Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Astronomy, Observing the sky, Earth-centered theories – Ancient scholars produced elaborate
schemes to account for the observed movements of the stars, sun, moon, and planets. In the 300's
B.C., the Greek philosopher Aristotle developed a system of 56 spheres, all with the same center. The
innermost sphere, which did not move, was Earth. Around Earth were 55 transparent, rotating spherical
shells. The outermost shell carried the stars, believed to be merely points of light. Other shells carried the
sun, moon, and planets. These shells rotated inside other shells that rotated within still other shells in ways
that accounted for almost all the observed movements. During the A.D. 100's, Ptolemy, a Greek astronomer
who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, offered an explanation that better accounted for retrograde motion.
Ptolemy said that the planets moved in small circles called epicycles. The epicycles moved in large circles
called deferents. Earth was near the center of all the deferents. Sun-centered theories – By the early
1500's, the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus had developed a theory in which the sun was at
the center of the universe. This theory correctly explained retrograde motion as the changing view of the
planets as seen from a moving Earth. The theory also correctly explained the east-to-west movement of
the sun and stars across the sky. This movement is due to the west-to-east rotation of Earth about its own
axis, rather than an actual motion of the sun and stars.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Jay M. Pasachoff, Ph.D.,
Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy and Director, Hopkins Observatory of Williams College.
187
b.
Number 2, the suggestion that the Bible teaches the sun
revolves around the earth requires an erroneous interpretive
leap that takes the passage far beyond the normal usage of the
expressions in the passage.
i. The passage in question, Joshua 10:12-13, was
misapplied to support the earth-centered universe of
the ancient pagan Greeks and Egyptians.
ii. An illustration…
1. Notice that in the quotes…
a. Worldbook asserts that Copernicus’
theory “correctly explained the
east-to-west movement of the sun
and stars across the sky.”
b. Microsoft Encarta states that
Copernicus’ theory “neatly
explained why Mars appears to
move backward across the sky.”
c. Modern people refer to sunrise or
sundown
2. When we come across such statements from
modern reference books or modern people…
a. We don’t assume that the authors
believe that the sun, stars, or Mars
actually move across the sky or that
it is their intention to communicate
that idea.
b. We don’t assume that people
believe the sun is moving around
the earth.
c. We assume they are either speaking
poetically or casually without
intending their words as technical
descriptions of the structure of the
universe.
iii. Yet, when we read a passage in the Bible such as
Joshua 10:12-13, which similarly states “the sun
stood still in the midst of heaven,” why do we
interpret that statement differently as though it
actually is intended as a technical description of the
structure of the universe? Why the double standard?
1. The double-standard is due to our
mistakenly interpreting the Bible in light of
our presumption that these were more
primitive people who had wrong ideas about
the structure of the universe.
2. Thus, our preconceived biases are causing
us to interpret the text differently than we
would if we heard the same words uttered in
common speech today.
3. However, one of the rules in the interpretive,
textual science of hermeneutics is that
figures of speech in the text must be taken as
figures of speech, rather than taken literally.
a. Joshua 10 is simply a classic case
of misinterpreting a text, taking a
common figure of speech, such as
188
the ones we see in Worldbook and
Encarta above, and interpreting it
literally.
iv. The Roman Catholic Church in Copernicus’ day
made a misinterpretation motivated by a desire to
uphold the current, secular scientific view of their
day, which had been advanced by Aristotle and
Ptolemy.
1. In the case of modern persons, the
misinterpretation is the result of…
a. approaching the text with the
presumption that evolution,
including cultural evolution, is true
b. then interpreting the text in light of
those assumptions rather than
letting it speak for itself and
judging its words in the same
manner we would if we read or
heard them anywhere else.
3. For these reasons, it is incorrect to conclude that the episode between
Copernicus and Aristotle exemplifies creationism suppressing
observable reality in favor of blind faith.
a. Instead, what really occurred was a highly-syncretistic form of
Christianity made a presumptuous interpretation of a casual,
everyday statement taken out of context from an isolated
passage in order to bend support toward an erroneous secular
scientific view proposed by Aristotle and Ptolemy, not the
Bible.
iii. Summary and Notes from the Copernican Controversy
1. “simpler” theories and explanations of the existing observations are
considered superior and preferable to complicated ones.
“Cosmology, II EVOLUTION OF COSMOLOGICAL THEORIES, B Sun-Centered Universe –
Even when Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus developed his model of a sun-centered universe in
the 1540s, he based his ideas on philosophy instead of new observations. Copernicus's theory was
simpler and therefore more sound philosophically than the idea of an earth-centered universe.” –
"Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights
reserved.
a.
2.
This suggestion will become more and more relevant as we
explore the known evidence about expansion and its
implications for cosmological models.
Ultimately, Copernicus’ model did not stand.
a. Copernicus merely replaced the earth-centered universe with a
universe in which the sun was the center.
b. Scientists now know that our sun is not the center of the
universe either.
“Cosmology, II EVOLUTION OF COSMOLOGICAL THEORIES, D Discovering the Structure of
the Universe – In 1917 American scientist Harlow Shapley measured the distance to several groups of
stars known as globular clusters. He measured these distances by using a method developed in 1912 by
American astronomer Henrietta Leavitt. Leavitt's method relates distance to variations in brightness of
Cepheid variables, a class of stars that vary periodically in brightness. Shapley's distance measurements
showed that the clusters were centered around a point far from the sun. The arrangement of the
clusters was presumed to reflect the overall shape of the galaxy, so Shapley realized that the sun was not
in the center of the galaxy. Just as Copernicus's observations revealed that the earth not at the center
189
of the universe, Shapley's observations revealed that the sun was not at the center of the galaxy.
Cosmologists now realize that the earth and sun do not occupy any special position in the universe.”
– "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights
reserved.
“Astronomy – The Milky Way is about 100,000 light-years across, and the sun is roughly 25,000 lightyears from its center.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Jay M. Pasachoff, Ph.D., Field Memorial Professor of
Astronomy and Director, Hopkins Observatory of Williams College.
3.
It is not Copernicus view of the universe that is so admired about him,
but simply his basic rejection of the idea that the earth has special or
central place in the universe.
a. (The fact that Copernicus’ own model has been rejected
highlights that this is actually what is embraced about
Copernicus.)
b. Evolutionary science embraces such a preference against a
central or special location for the earth on the grounds that it
indicates teleology, a purposeful placement of the earth in a
specific location.
4. From Einstein’s original model in 1917 right through the modifications
to the 1932 Einstein-de Sitter universe which serves as the basis for Big
Bang cosmology to this day, the model is formulated on the basis of
assumptions and philosophical preferences, which themselves stem
from this Copernican principle in which the earth has not central or
special place in the universe.
G. The role of expansion, how observations about expansion cause problems in the
underlying assumptions of Big Bang theory, and how Big Bang theory ignores such
evidences
i. Whether all of space is filled with matter is not an observation, but purely an
assumption because we cannot and will not ever be able to see beyond a certain
distance into space “even in principle.”
1. There are 2 reasons for this.
a. Number one, dust in the Milky Way prevents us from seeing
“very far in any direction.”
“Cosmology, II EVOLUTION OF COSMOLOGICAL THEORIES, C Newton and Beyond – In the
19th century, counts of the numbers of stars appearing in different directions in the sky left
astronomers with the incorrect idea that the earth and sun were approximately in the center of the
universe. This conclusion did not take into account the modern idea that dust in our Milky Way
Galaxy prevented astronomers from seeing very far in any direction.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft®
Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
i. This limited ability to see beyond a certain point is
associated with Olber’s paradox.
1. Olber’s paradox is an articulation of the
following apparent contradiction.
a. If space is infinite and matter is
distributed infinitely throughout
space, then there should be an
infinite number of stars.
b. An infinite number of stars should
make the night sky bright rather
than dark.
c. Yet the sky is dark.
d. So, how can there be an infinite
number of stars throughout space?
190
“Olbers's Paradox, I INTRODUCTION – Olbers's Paradox, in astronomy and cosmology, apparent
contradiction between a dark night sky and an infinite universe. If the universe is infinitely large,
every line of sight possible from the earth should end in a star. Thus the sky should be completely
bright. But astronomers know from common observation that the sky is dark at night between the
stars. Arriving at opposite results by using two apparently valid methods of reasoning is called a
paradox. Olbers's paradox is named for German physician and astronomer Wilhelm Olbers, who
wrote about the paradox in the 1820s.” – "Olbers's Paradox," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. ©
1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Cosmology, II EVOLUTION OF COSMOLOGICAL THEORIES, C Newton and Beyond –
Beginning in the 17th century, scientists wondered why the sky was dark at night if space is indeed
infinite (an idea proposed in ancient Greece and still accepted by most cosmologists today) and stars
are distributed throughout that infinite space. An infinite amount of starlight should make the sky
very bright at night. This cosmological question came to be called Olbers's paradox after the German
astronomer Heinrich Olbers, who wrote about the paradox in the 1820s. The paradox was not solved
until the 20th century.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft
Corporation. All rights reserved.
b.
Number two, the answer to Olber’s paradox comes in terms of
“a spherical surface” known as “the cosmic event horizon” at
10,000,000,000 (10 billion) light years away from the earth.
i. We cannot see beyond this spherical horizon because
10 billion light years is the age of the universe and,
therefore, that is the maximum amount of time that
light has had to travel to the earth.
1. Effectively, anything farther than 10 billion
light years has not had enough time for its
light to travel to the earth so that we can see
it.
ii. According to Britannica’s assessment, we cannot and
will not be able to see anything beyond 10 billion
light years “even in principle.”
1. This statement indicates that the problem is
permanent.
“Cosmos, Cosmological models, Early cosmological ideas – In 1610 Kepler provided a profound
reason for believing that the number of stars in the universe had to be finite. If there were an infinity
of stars, he argued, then the sky would be completely filled with them and night would not be dark!
This point was rediscussed by the astronomers Edmond Halley and Jean-Philippe-Loys de Chéseaux of
Switzerland in the 18th century, but it was not popularized as a paradox until Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers
of Germany took up the problem in the 19th century. The difficulty became potentially very real with
Hubble's measurement of the enormous extent of the universe of galaxies with its large-scale
homogeneity and isotropy. His discovery of the systematic recession of the galaxies provided an
escape, however…The modern consensus is, however, that a finite age for the universe is a far more
important effect. Even if the universe is spatially infinite, photons from very distant galaxies simply
do not have the time to travel to the Earth because of the finite speed of light. There is a spherical
surface, the cosmic event horizon (roughly [10 raised to the power of 10 or 10,000,000,000] lightyears in radial distance from the Earth at the current epoch), beyond which nothing can be seen even in
principle; and the number (roughly [10 raised to the power of 10 or 10,000,000,000]) of galaxies
within this cosmic horizon, the observable universe, are too few to make the night sky bright.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Olber’s Paradox, III MODERN THEORIES – The current understanding of Olbers's paradox and
its solution was framed by American astronomer Edward Harrison in the 1960s. Harrison showed that
the sky is dark at night because we do not see stars infinitely far away. Harrison's solution depends
191
on the universe having a finite age. Because light takes time to reach the earth, looking deep into space
is like looking back in time. Each line of sight from the earth does not have to end on a star because
the light from the farthest stars needed to create Olbers's paradox has not reached the earth. In the
time that the universe has existed, stars have not emitted enough energy to make the night sky
bright.” – "Olbers's Paradox," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft
Corporation. All rights reserved.
iii. Expansion plays a role in the evolutionary solution to
Olber’s paradox.
1. Hubble’s “discovery of the systematic
recession of the galaxies provided an
escape” to Olber’s paradox.
2. Since expansion is the basis for the Big
Bang and the age of the universe in
evolutionary cosmology, expansion
provided a limited time for light from stars
to reach the earth.
3. Any star farther from the earth than light
could travel in the limited time since the Big
Bang would not be visible to illuminate the
night sky.
ii. Implications of the fact we cannot see beyond 10 billion light years (the age of
the universe) “even in principle,”
1. We simply cannot know whether or not matter is uniformly distributed
throughout all of space or whether matter is distributed only partially
into space and then stops.
a. Science can never disprove either the “entirely-filled” or the
“partially-filled” options because we cannot see far enough to
do so.
2. Therefore, 2 options are equally reasonable and scientific assumptions
a. Option 1 – Matter is distributed uniformly throughout space.
b. Option 2 – Matter stops at some point even though space may
continues.
i. Implications of Option 2 – if matter stops where
space continues, then…
1. Even if space were infinite, there would still
be an edge to the distribution of matter.
2. There would also be a center to the
distribution of matter.
3. There would be an accompanying gravity
well at that center of the distribution of
matter.
ii. On this point, whether or not space is curved is
irrelevant.
1. Even if space itself has no edge or center
because it is curved like the surface of a
sphere, matter could still be only partially
distributed throughout space, in which case
the distribution of matter would have an
edge, a center, and a central gravity well.
2. Consequently, the model of spherical space
that is only partially-filled with matter is
equally valid as the model in which matter is
uniformly distributed throughout all of
space.
192
iii. Thecentral role that redshift plays in demonstrating expansion and subsequently
the Big Bang and the age of the universe.
1. (The known but ignored observations about expansion are specifically
observations about redshift.)
2. Because redshift is the indispensable foundation for Big Bang
cosmology and so we cannot simply throw out or disregard known
facts about redshift.
3. Redshift is not a peripheral issue.
a. Redshift is determinant to cosmology on a foundational level
and, as such, its characteristics are of the utmost significance.
4. The Big Bang is a reverse extrapolation of expansion, which is
determined by redshift.
a. Expansion is demonstrated by redshift.
“Universe, Changing views of the universe – The discovery of the redshift of distant galaxies led to the
theory of the expanding universe.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of
Astronomy and Physics, Boston University.
“Universe, Size of the Universe – Astronomers interpret the large redshifts of faraway objects as
evidence that the universe is expanding-that is, every point in the universe is moving away from every
other point.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy and Physics,
Boston University.
b.
c.
Redshift refers to the phenomenon in which light from stars
and other celestial objects, such as quasars, is shifted toward
the red end of the visible light spectrum.
i. The red end of the spectrum has the longest
wavelengths of visible light.
The redshift of light was a result of the expansion of space.
i. The wavelengths become lengthened as a result of
passing through space as space expands.
“Universe, Size of the universe – Astronomers can determine the distance to a faraway object by
measuring the object's redshift. Redshift is a stretching of the wavelength of light or other radiation
emitted by an object. Wavelength is the distance between successive crests of a wave. The stretching
is called redshift because red light has the longest wavelength of any visible light. Objects farther away
from Earth have larger redshifts.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of
Astronomy and Physics, Boston University.
“Cosmology, II EVOLUTION OF COSMOLOGICAL THEORIES, D Discovering the Structure of
the Universe – In 1929 Hubble had measured enough spectra of galaxies to realize that the galaxies'
light, except for that of the few nearest galaxies, was shifted toward the red end of the visible spectrum.
This shift increased the more distant the galaxies were. Cosmologists soon interpreted these red shifts as
Doppler shifts, which showed that the galaxies were moving away from the earth. The Doppler shift,
and therefore the speed of the galaxy, was greater for more distant galaxies. Galaxies in different
directions at equivalent distances from the earth, however, had equivalent Doppler shifts. This constant
relationship between distance and speed led cosmologists to believe that the universe is expanding
uniformly. The uniform relationship between velocity of expansion and distance from the earth is
known as Hubble's law.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft
Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Galaxy, Origin of galaxies – Most astronomical observations made to date support big bang theories.
According to these theories, the universe is still expanding. Two kinds of observations strongly support
the idea of an expanding universe. These observations indicate that all galaxies are moving away
from one another and that the galaxies farthest from the Milky Way are moving away most rapidly.
This relationship between speed and distance is known as the Hubble law of recession (moving
193
backward), or Hubble's law. The law was named after American astronomer Edwin P. Hubble, who
reported it in 1929. Astronomers estimate the speed at which a galaxy is moving away by measuring
the galaxy's redshift. The redshift is an apparent lengthening of electromagnetic waves emitted by an
object moving away from the observer. A redshift can be measured when light from a galaxy is broken up
and spread out into a band of colors called a spectrum. The spectrum of a galaxy contains bright and dark
lines that are determined by the galaxy's temperature, density, and chemical composition. These lines are
shifted toward the red end of the spectrum if the galaxy is moving away. The greater the amount of
redshift, the more rapid the movement. See REDSHIFT.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher,
Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy and Physics, Boston University.
“Cosmology, Movement of galaxies – In the early 1900's, astronomers analyzed light from stars in
distant galaxies. They passed this light through a prism, which broke it up into a rainbowlike band of
colors called a spectrum (plural spectra). At one end of the spectrum of visible light is red, the color
with the longest wavelength (distance between successive wave crests). At the other end is violet, which
has the shortest wavelength. The spectrum of light sent out by any star has bright and dark lines that
indicate the composition of the star's outer layers and atmosphere. The astronomers then compared the
spectra of the light from the stars in the distant galaxies with spectra of similar stars in our home
galaxy, the Milky Way. They discovered that the spectral lines of the distant stars are closer to the
red end of the spectrum than are the corresponding lines in the light from our neighboring stars. The
astronomers concluded that this redshift is caused by the distant galaxies moving rapidly away from
the Milky Way. Calculations of the speeds of various galaxies indicate that the universe is expanding
and that all galaxies began moving away from one another 10 billion to 20 billion years ago. – Worldbook,
Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy and Physics, Boston University.
“Red Shift – Red Shift, shift toward longer wavelengths observed in the lines of spectra (see
Spectrum) of celestial objects. The American astronomer Edwin Powell Hubble, in 1929, linked the
red shift observed in spectra of galaxies to the expansion of the universe. Hubble theorized that this
red shift, called the cosmological red shift, is caused by the Doppler effect and hence indicates the
speed of recession of the galaxies-and, by using Hubble's law, the distances of the galaxies (see
Cosmology).” – "Red Shift," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation.
All rights reserved.
“Doppler effect – The following is an example of the Doppler effect: as one approaches a blowing horn,
the perceived pitch is higher until the horn is reached and then becomes lower as the horn is passed.
Similarly, the light from a star, observed from the Earth, shifts toward the red end of the spectrum
(lower frequency or longer wavelength) if the Earth and star are receding from each other and toward
the violet (higher frequency or shorter wavelength) if they are approaching each other. The Doppler effect
is used in studying the motion of stars and to search for double stars and is an integral part of modern
theories of the universe. See also red shift.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Red shift – The American astronomer Edwin Powell Hubble reported in 1929 that the distant
galaxies were receding from the Milky Way system, in which the Earth is located, and that their red
shifts increase proportionally with their increasing distance. This generalization became the basis for
what is called Hubble's law, which correlates the recessional velocity of a galaxy with its distance from
the Earth. That is to say, the greater the red shift manifested by light emanating from such an object, the
greater the distance of the object and the larger its recessional velocity (see also Hubble's constant). This
law of red shifts has been confirmed by subsequent research and provides the cornerstone of modern
relativistic cosmological theories that postulate that the universe is expanding.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Cosmos, Clustering of galaxies, Statistics of clustering – The description of galaxy clustering given
above is qualitative and therefore open to a charge of faulty subjective reasoning. To remove human
biases it is possible to take a statistical approach, a path pioneered by the American statisticians Jerzy
Neyman and Elizabeth L. Scott and extended by H. Totsuji and T. Kihara in Japan and by P.J.E. Peebles
and his coworkers in the United States. Their line of attack begins by considering the correlation of the
angular positions of galaxies in the northern sky surveyed by C.D. Shane and C.A. Wirtanen of Lick
194
Observatory, Mount Hamilton, Calif…In addition to angular positions, it is possible to derive empirical
information about the large-scale distribution of galaxies in the direction along the line of sight by
examining the redshifts of galaxies under the assumption that a larger redshift implies a greater
distance in accordance with Hubble's law.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Astrophysics, IV THE STUDY OF THE UNIVERSE – Cosmology seeks to understand the structure of
the universe. Modern cosmology is based on the American astronomer Edwin Hubble's discovery in
1929 that all galaxies are receding from each other with velocities proportional to their distances. In
1922 the Russian astronomer Alexander Friedmann proposed that the universe is everywhere filled with the
same amount of matter. Using Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity to calculate the gravitational
effects, he showed that such a system must originate in a singular state of infinite density (now called the
big bang) and expand from that state in just the way Hubble observed.” – "Astrophysics," Microsoft®
Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Cosmology, IV COSMOLOGICAL EVIDENCE – The universe's density, expansion rate, and age
are all related…If cosmologists measure the rate of expansion by examining galactic red shifts and
estimate the density of the universe, they can calculate an estimate of the universe's age.” – "Cosmology,"
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
5.
The age of the universe is based upon the rate of expansion (Hubble’s
contant), which is determined by examining redshifts.
a. The Hubble constant (or Hubble’s constant) is a measure of
the rate of expansion and it is the number used in estimating
the universe’s age.
“Hubble constant – Hubble constant is a measure of the rate of expansion of the universe.
Astronomers use this number in estimating the age of the universe.” – World Book 2005 (Deluxe)
6.
A problem – Evolutionary scientists cannot determine the exact value
of the Hubble constant and therefore cannot determining the exact age
of the universe.
a. The problem arises in terms of the need to measure the
distance to any given galaxy “in some way independent of
Hubble’s law.”
i. This is difficult to do and different methods give
different values for the Hubble constant.
“Galaxy, Calculating the age of the universe – Determining the Hubble constant involves three steps:
(1) measuring the speed at which a distant galaxy is moving away from the Milky Way, (2) measuring
the distance to that galaxy in some way independent of Hubble's law, and (3) dividing the first
measurement by the second to find the Hubble constant. The equation for the division operation, H0 = v
¸ d, is a rearrangement of the equation given previously for Hubble's law. Astronomers measure the speed
of a galaxy by determining its redshift, a shift in the wavelength of certain radiation sent out by the galaxy.
For a discussion of this phenomenon, see REDSHIFT. Scientists use several different methods to
measure the distance to a galaxy. For various technical reasons, these methods give somewhat
different results. It is because of these differences that different values have been proposed for the
Hubble constant.” – World Book 2005 (Deluxe)
ii. Consequently, the exact value for the Hubble
constant “is an issue of controversy among
astronomers” and there are currently “discrepancies”
concerning what is the correct figure.
“Cosmos, Large-scale structure and expansion of the universe, The extragalactic distance scale and
Hubble's constant – The exact value of Hubble's constant is an issue of great controversy among
astronomers. Modern estimates for H 0 range from 15 to 30 km/sec per million light-years. The
195
source of the discrepancy lies partly in the interpretation of the amount of distortion superimposed atop a
pure Hubble flow by the gravitational effects of the Local Supercluster in which the Local Group and the
Virgo cluster are embedded and partly in the different calibrators used or emphasized by different workers
for the distances to various extragalactic objects.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
b.
As recently as the late 1990’s, scientists still did not know
whether they were within 10 percent of the actual value of the
Hubble constant.
“Cosmology, IV COSMOLOGICAL EVIDENCE – Several groups of astronomers conducted
observational projects to determine Hubble's constant, the most important cosmological parameter,
during the late 1990s. Notably, the American astronomers Wendy Freedman, Robert Kennicutt, and Barry
Madore used the Hubble Space Telescope to observe Cepheid variable stars in distant galaxies,
following the Leavitt-Shapley method. The Hubble Space Telescope can distinguish and follow such
stars in galaxies much farther away from earth than ground-based telescopes can. The researchers hope to
determine Hubble's constant to within 10 percent of its actual value. Groups using distant
supernovas, which are the very bright explosions of stars, are extending tests of Hubble's law to even
greater distances. Other astronomers used mainly ground-based telescopes to try to determine
Hubble's constant. The American astronomer Alan Sandage and the Swiss astronomer Gustav Tammann
have used a variety of methods to come up with an expansion estimate of 55 km/sec/megaparsec
(about 34 mi/sec/megaparsec). A megaparsec is 1000 parsecs, and a parsec is about 3.26 light years (a light
year is the distance that light could travel in a year-9.5 x 1012 km, or 5.9 x 1012 mi). So far, the
cosmologists using the Hubble Space Telescope have found a value of about 70 km/sec/megaparsec
(44 mi/sec/megaparsec) for the expansion rate of the universe. These expansion rates correspond to a
universe between 8 billion and 13 billion years old.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta®
Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
c.
d.
Consequently, the age of the universe is often expressed as a
range reflecting the the high and low end of the estimate range
of values for the Hubble constant.
i. Such as “between 8 billion and 13 billion years”
ii. The fact that the age of the universe is rendered as a
range, on its own, does not mean that range is
necessarily inaccurate.
Determing the age of the universe is simply not a perfect
process or a finalized result, which is why different sources
provide different ages
i. such as 8 to 13 billion years, 10 to 20 billion years, or
10 to 15 billion years, etc. for the age of the universe.
“Cosmology, IV COSMOLOGICAL EVIDENCE – These expansion rates correspond to a universe
between 8 billion and 13 billion years old.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. ©
1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Astrophysics, IV THE STUDY OF THE UNIVERSE – According to the theory, the big bang
occurred 10 to 20 billion years ago.” – "Astrophysics," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 19931998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Big bang – Big bang refers to the most widely held scientific theory of the origin of the universe.
According to this theory, the universe began with a hot, explosive event-a ‘big bang’-about 10 billion
to 20 billion years ago.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy and
Physics, Boston University.
“Cosmology, III MODERN COSMOLOGY, A The Big Bang Theory – Current calculations place the
age of the universe at 10 billion to 15 billion years.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia
99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
196
"Big-bang model – widely held theory of the evolution of the universe. Its essential feature is the
emergence of the universe from a state of extremely high temperature and density—the so-called big bang
that occurred at least 10,000,000,000 years ago. " – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Universe – According to the theory, the universe began with an explosion-called the big bang-13
billion to 14 billion years ago.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of
Astronomy and Physics, Boston University.
These ages necessarily disagree with one another – they are all
within the same basic 8-20 billion year range.
i. Notice how imprecise our value of Hubble’s constant
is if it can yield differening results of 8 and 20 billion
years.
1. 20 billion years is more than twice the
amount of the lowest estimate of 8 billion
years.
2. This requires quite a variable range for the
expansion rate of the universe (Hubble’s
contant.)
ii. But, the values needed for that calculation have not
been fully worked out.
iii. This dispels the potential misperception that the exact
age of the universe has been identified with certainty
and finality or that the process for making this
calculation is a perfect one.
Redshift indicates that space is expanding between the major structures
of matter (such as galaxies), creating a greater distance between those
structures as time moves forward.
a. Notes on expansion:
i. Only space is expanding, the matter in space is not
expanding.
e.
7.
“Universe, Size of the Universe – Astronomers interpret the large redshifts of faraway objects as
evidence that the universe is expanding-that is, every point in the universe is moving away from every
other point. This expansion does not cause the matter within a particular object to expand, however,
because attraction among its atoms and molecules holds the object together. Similarly, the force of gravity
prevents the stars in a galaxy from moving away from one another. But the galaxies are moving away
from one another. The expansion of the universe is a basic observation that any successful theory of the
universe must explain.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy and
Physics, Boston University.
“Cosmos, Relativistic cosmologies, Friedmann-Lemaître models – The global space-time diagram for
the middle half of the expansion-compression phases can be depicted as a barrel lying on its side. The
space axis corresponds again to any one direction in the universe, and it wraps around the barrel. Through
each spatial point runs a time axis that extends along the length of the barrel on its (space-time) surface.
Because the barrel is curved in both space and time, the little squares in the grid of the curved sheet
of graph paper marking the space-time surface are of nonuniform size, stretching to become bigger
when the barrel broadens (universe expands) and shrinking to become smaller when the barrel
narrows (universe contracts)… Imagine now that galaxies reside on equally spaced tick marks along
the space axis. Each galaxy on average does not move spatially with respect to its tick mark in the
spatial (ringed) direction but is carried forward horizontally by the march of time. The total number
of galaxies on the spatial ring is conserved as time changes, and therefore their average spacing
increases or decreases as the total circumference 2?R on the ring increases or decreases (during the
expansion or contraction phases). Thus, without in a sense actually moving in the spatial direction,
197
galaxies can be carried apart by the expansion of space itself. From this point of view, the recession
of galaxies is not a “velocity” in the usual sense of the word. For example, in a closed Friedmann model,
there could be galaxies that started, when R was small, very close to the Milky Way system on the opposite
side of the universe. Now, [10,000,000,000] years later, they are still on the opposite side of the universe
but at a distance much greater than [10,000,000,000] light-years away. They reached those distances
without ever having had to move (relative to any local observer) at speeds faster than light—indeed, in a
sense without having had to move at all…In other words, the wavelength has grown in direct
proportion to the linear expansion factor of the universe. Since the same conclusion would have held if
n wavelengths had been involved instead of one, all electromagnetic radiation from a given object will
show the same cosmological redshift if the universe (or, equivalently, the average spacing between
galaxies) was smaller at the epoch of transmission than at the epoch of reception. Each wavelength
will have been stretched in direct proportion to the expansion of the universe in between.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
b.
8.
Stars within galaxies are held at their distances by gravity, but
the distances between galaxies, clusters of galaxies, and
superclusters are expanding because the space between them
is expanding.
c. And the light passing between one galaxy and another, one
cluster or supercluster and another, is stretching as it moves
across expanding space.
Redshift and Hubble’s Law are based upon observations from the earth
(or from the Milky Way Galaxy where the earth resides.)
a. So, the Big Bang model is based upon observing redshift from
the earth.
“Doppler effect – The following is an example of the Doppler effect: as one approaches a blowing horn,
the perceived pitch is higher until the horn is reached and then becomes lower as the horn is passed.
Similarly, the light from a star, observed from the Earth, shifts toward the red end of the spectrum
(lower frequency or longer wavelength) if the Earth and star are receding from each other and toward
the violet (higher frequency or shorter wavelength) if they are approaching each other. The Doppler effect
is used in studying the motion of stars and to search for double stars and is an integral part of modern
theories of the universe. See also red shift.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Red shift – The American astronomer Edwin Powell Hubble reported in 1929 that the distant
galaxies were receding from the Milky Way system, in which the Earth is located, and that their red
shifts increase proportionally with their increasing distance. This generalization became the basis for
what is called Hubble's law, which correlates the recessional velocity of a galaxy with its distance from
the Earth. That is to say, the greater the red shift manifested by light emanating from such an object, the
greater the distance of the object and the larger its recessional velocity (see also Hubble's constant). This
law of red shifts has been confirmed by subsequent research and provides the cornerstone of modern
relativistic cosmological theories that postulate that the universe is expanding.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Galaxy, Origin of galaxies – Two kinds of observations strongly support the idea of an expanding
universe. These observations indicate that all galaxies are moving away from one another and that
the galaxies farthest from the Milky Way are moving away most rapidly. This relationship between
speed and distance is known as the Hubble law of recession (moving backward), or Hubble's law. The
law was named after American astronomer Edwin P. Hubble, who reported it in 1929…The greater the
amount of redshift, the more rapid the movement. See REDSHIFT.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth
Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy and Physics, Boston University.
“Galaxy, Calculating the age of the universe – Determining the Hubble constant involves three steps:
(1) measuring the speed at which a distant galaxy is moving away from the Milky Way, (2) measuring
the distance to that galaxy in some way independent of Hubble's law, and (3) dividing the first
measurement by the second to find the Hubble constant.” – World Book 2005 (Deluxe)
198
“Universe, Size of the universe – Astronomers can determine the distance to a faraway object by
measuring the object's redshift. Redshift is a stretching of the wavelength of light or other radiation
emitted by an object. Wavelength is the distance between successive crests of a wave. The stretching is
called redshift because red light has the longest wavelength of any visible light. Objects farther away
from Earth have larger redshifts.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of
Astronomy and Physics, Boston University.
“Cosmology, II EVOLUTION OF COSMOLOGICAL THEORIES, D Discovering the Structure of
the Universe – In 1929 Hubble had measured enough spectra of galaxies to realize that the galaxies'
light, except for that of the few nearest galaxies, was shifted toward the red end of the visible spectrum.
This shift increased the more distant the galaxies were. Cosmologists soon interpreted these red shifts as
Doppler shifts, which showed that the galaxies were moving away from the earth. The Doppler shift,
and therefore the speed of the galaxy, was greater for more distant galaxies. Galaxies in different
directions at equivalent distances from the earth, however, had equivalent Doppler shifts. This constant
relationship between distance and speed led cosmologists to believe that the universe is expanding
uniformly. The uniform relationship between velocity of expansion and distance from the earth is
known as Hubble's law.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft
Corporation. All rights reserved.
b.
So, all of our information about redshift are based upon
redshift as it is observed from the earth.
iv. Summary of critical information covered so far on redshift, the expansion of
space, the age of the universe, and the Big Bang cosmological model
1. First, Big Bang cosmology simply doesn’t work.
a. It doesn’t have a working theory for the actual Big Bang
explosion.
b. It doesn’t have a working theory for the subsequent events
after the explosion that formed the major structures of the
universe, including stars, galaxies, clusters of galaxies, and
superclusters of galaxies.
2. Second, Big Bang cosmology is formulated and accepted on the basis
of philosophical preferences, not because it is necessitated by any
observations.
a. Adherents to the evolutionary Big Bang cosmology reject
alternate theories on the basis of philosophical preferences, not
observations.
3. Third, the Big Bang model was specifically formulated on the basis of
3 assumptions:
a. All of these 3 assumptions were made in order to avoid a
creation event if possible and any special or central location in
the universe for the earth (i.e. the Copernican principle).
i. homogeneity,
ii. isotropy,
iii. the trait of being static in time
b. The “curvature” of space introduced by Einstein was also
based on the philosophical preference to remove a center to
the universe.
4. Fourth, a creation event, a “beginning” to the universe, was
unavoidable and so the third assumption that the universe was static in
time was discarded.
a. The assumptions of homogeneity and isotropy remain.
5. Fifth, there is a limit to how far we can see into the universe “even in
principle”
a. Homogeneity, the assumption that matter is distributed
uniformly throughout all of space…
199
i. must remain an assumption
ii. cannot be proven
iii. isn’t based on observation.
b. It is therefore, equally possible that matter is only distributed
through a portion of space, then stops, having an edge and
therefore a center.
6. Sixth, the desire to avoid an edge and a center to the distribution of
matter were related to the desire to avoid a gravity well at the center of
the universe.
7. Seventh, the earth is not the center of the universe and neither is earth’s
sun.
8. Eighth, redshift was the cornerstone basis of expansion, the Big Bang
model, and the age estimates of the universe.
9. Ninth, all observations of redshift are observations of redshift from the
earth.
v. Key questions about the model regarding the inherent assumptions
1. Since the notion that there is no edge or subsequent center to the
distribution of matter in the universe is merely an assumption, which
cannot be demonstrated by observation, what happens to the model of
the universe if there is an edge and a center?
2. What evidence is there that the universe has a center?
vi. 2 evidences that the universe has a center
1. Isotropy – the first piece of evidence, which indicates that the universe
might have a center.
a. Isotropy is the only 1 of the 3 assumptions in Einstein’s
original 1917 model that had any basis in actual observation.
b. The fact is that when we look into space from the earth, from
our present location, matter seems to be uniformly distributed
around us.
i. This is observation.
“Cosmology, III MODERN COSMOLOGY, A The Big Bang Theory – The big bang theory describes a
hot explosion of energy and matter at the time the universe came into existence. This theory explains why
the universe is expanding and why the universe seems so uniform in all directions and at all places.” –
"Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights
reserved.
“Cosmology, III MODERN COSMOLOGY, B Steady-State Theory – The big bang theory was
framed in terms of what they called the cosmological principle-that the universe is homogeneous (the
same in all locations) and isotropic (looks the same in all directions) on a large scale.” – "Cosmology,"
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Cosmology, II EVOLUTION OF COSMOLOGICAL THEORIES, C Newton and Beyond – In the
19th century, counts of the numbers of stars appearing in different directions in the sky left
astronomers with the incorrect idea that the earth and sun were approximately in the center of the
universe. This conclusion did not take into account the modern idea that dust in our Milky Way Galaxy
prevented astronomers from seeing very far in any direction.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta®
Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Universe, Size of the universe – No one knows for sure whether the universe is finite (limited) or infinite
in size. Observations of the sky with optical telescopes indicate that there are at least 100 billion
galaxies in the observable universe. Measurements show that the most distant galaxies observed to date
are about 12 billion to 13 billion light-years from Earth. They appear in every direction across the sky.”
– Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy and Physics, Boston
University.
200
c.
2.
Isotropy becomes an assumption when we extrapolate that this
is true, not just for the earth, but for every location in the
universe.
i. We have not looked into space from any other
location besides earth and so, it is merely an
assumption that matter would appear uniformly
distributed or would be uniformly distributed around
other locations as it is around the earth.
d. Consequently, on its own, isotropy does not favor one theory
over another.
i. Big Bang cosmology can accommodate this piece of
evidence by adding additional unproven assumptions
1. That the universe looks the same from any
and all locations – we have not and cannot
actually observe this claim.
ii. But if we want to remain minimal in the number of
assumptions, on face value the fact that matter seems
evenly distributed all around the earth is a remarkable
indication that earth, or at least earth’s galaxy, is near
the center of the universe.
Olber’s paradox – the second piece of evidence, which indicates that
the universe might have a center.
a. The darkness of the sky at night is an important fact in the
modern understanding of all cosmological models.
i. It has even been assessed to have equal weight in
cosmology to the recession and expansion.
“Cosmology – Five observations have contributed much to modern cosmology: (1) the sky is dark at
night; (2) galaxies move away from one another; (3) the entire sky gives off radio waves; (4) helium is
abundant in the universe; and (5) the age of the oldest stars is 10 billion to 20 billion years. The dark sky –
During the 1700's and 1800's, astronomers wondered why the sky is dark at night. In the simplest
universe they could imagine, stars would be distributed evenly throughout an infinite space. The
entire night sky would therefore appear to be a solid mass of stars as bright as the sun. The
inconsistency between this imaginary sky and the actual dark sky indicates that the universe has a
complex structure. This inconsistency has been named Olbers's paradox after its author, German
astronomer Heinrich Olbers.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy
and Physics, Boston University.
b.
c.
Like isotropy, Big Bang cosmology can accommodate Olber’s
paradox by adding more unproven assumptions.
i. It is possible to explain why the sky is dark by
assuming that…
1. matter is infinitely distributed throughout
infinite space
2. matter is distributed across a distance so
great that there has not been enough time for
light to travel from the earth.
So, on its own Olber’s paradox is not conclusive proof that the
universe has a center.
i. Just as with isotropy, if we want to keep assumptions
to a minimum number, the fact that the sky is dark at
night is also a remarkable indication that there is only
a limited distribution of stars and matter throughout
the universe
201
1.
3.
This would indicate that there is both an
edge and a center to that distribution of
matter.
Big Bang theory’s additional assumptions and the preference for
simplicity in scientific theories.
a. Taken together isotropy and Olber’s paradox constitute at least
mounting evidence for the notion that the universe has a
center.
i. When viewed individually, it only takes one
assumption to accommodate each.
ii. But when viewed together, it becomes clear that in
order to fit with the evidence, evolutionary theory
requires 2 additional assumptions.
b. When covering the history of Copernicus, we took note that
“simpler” theories are “more sound philosophically” than
more complicated ones because they more “neatly” explain
the observations.
“Cosmology, II EVOLUTION OF COSMOLOGICAL THEORIES, A Ancient Cosmologies – Until
the 16th century, most people (including early astronomers) considered the earth to be at the center of
the universe…B Sun-Centered Universe – The ideas of Ptolemy were accepted in an age when
standards of scientific accuracy and proof had not yet been developed. Even when Polish astronomer
Nicolaus Copernicus developed his model of a sun-centered universe in the 1540s, he based his ideas
on philosophy instead of new observations. Copernicus's theory was simpler and therefore more
sound philosophically than the idea of an earth-centered universe. A sun-centered universe neatly
explained why Mars appears to move backward across the sky: Because Earth is closer to the sun,
Earth moves faster than Mars. When Mars is ahead of or relatively far behind Earth, Mars appears to move
across Earth's night sky in the usual west-to-east direction. As Earth overtakes Mars, Mars's motion seems
to stop, then begin an east-to-west motion that stops and reverses when Earth moves far enough away
again. Copernicus's model also explained the daily and yearly motion of the sun and stars in the earth's
sky.” – "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All
rights reserved.
c.
d.
e.
The theory that the earth, or rather the earth’s home galaxy, is
near the center of a finite distribution of matter is a far
simpler, neater and therefore philosophically more sound
explanation for…
i. Why we see an even distribution of matter all around
the earth no matter which direction we look
ii. Why the sky is dark at night
Big Bang cosmology contains a more complicated explanation
using 2 purely speculative assumptions that cannot be based
on observation…
i. We see an even distribution because all of space has
an even distribution
ii. We only see a limited number of stars because other
stars are too far away for their light to have arrived
yet
In these terms, it becomes quite clear that the explanation,
which requires assuming the least amount of unknowns, is the
theory that the universe has a center and earth’s galaxy is near
to that center.
i. Such an explanation simply explains the observations
and it does not require making assumptions about the
distribution of matter in parts of space that we cannot
observe.
202
ii. As we saw, Copernicus’ model won out, not because
of new observations, but because his explanations of
the existing observations were simpler, neater, and
therefore, more philosophically sound.
iii. Consequently, even judging just by isotropy and
Olber’s paradox, the same criteria that weighed in
favor of Copernicus’ model, weigh in favor that a
centered-universe theory is a more sound explanation
and therefore should be philosophically preferable to
a center-less universe theory.
vii. The third evidence – known but ignored evidence that the universe has a center
and that the earth’s home galaxy, the Milky Way, is uniquely near that center.
1. The evidence that the Milky Way has a central location within the
universe is inherent to what we observe about redshift itself, the central
pillar of evolutionary Big Bang cosmology.
2. Redshifts occur in quantized shells or spheres occurring at regular
distances around the location of the Milky Way, earth’s home galaxy,
as their center.
a. This fact is attested to repeatedly by non-creationist,
mainstream scientists and authors in science magazines and
journals, including…
i. Astrophysical Journal,
ii. the Journal Astrophysics and Astronomy,
iii. Sky and Telescope,
iv. Scientific American,
v. the Journal Science, and Discover.
b. At the end of these mainstream quotes have we included 3
comments on this subject from creationists.
i. The creationists’ descriptions of the redshift
phenomenon in question are identical to what is
described in the mainstream scientific literature.
“There is now very firm evidence that redshifts of galaxies are quantized…” – W.G. Tifft and W.J.
Cocke, Global redshift quantization, Astrophysical Journal, 1984 (Cited on “Astronomy and the Bible,”
Mike Riddle, Copyright Northwester Creation Network, nwcreation.net)
“The fact that measured values of redshift do not vary continuously but come in steps – certain
preferred values – is so unexpected that conventional astronomy has never been able to accept it, in spite
of the overwhelming observational evidence.” – Halton Arp (Staff astronomer at the Mount Wilson and
Palomar Observatory for 29 years), Quasars, Redshifts and Controversies, 1987, p. 195 (Cited on
“Astronomy and the Bible,” Mike Riddle, Copyright Northwester Creation Network, nwcreation.net)
“Abstract: Radio wavelength studies of red shifts have reinforced William G. Tifft's claims that
redshifts do not occur in a swift continuum. Tifft, an astronomer at the University of Arizona, had
been claiming that redshifts occur in groups, with estimated intervals of between 24 to 72 kilometers
per second.” – “Quantized redshifts: what's going on here?” Sky & Telescope, August 1992, v.84, n.2, p.
128
“Abstract: Astronomer William G. Tifft claims that his statistical analyses of different galaxies have
indicated that redshifts are not continuous, but fall on evenly spaced steps. This finding indicates that
redshifts do not necessarily correspond to their recessional velocity.” – Tim Beardsley, “Quantum
dissidents: is there unexpected order in the cosmos? (red shifts)” (Special Year-End Section: The Search for
Answers), Scientific American, Dec 1992, v.267, n.6, p. 39
“Abstract: A recent study of many parts of the sky supported a controversial 1976 claim that redshift
of celestial objects appear only in quantized speeds. Standard models of the universe give no reason why
203
redshift would be restricted to multiples of one fundamental speed, which was measured at 37.2 kill/sec.
Full Text: In a study of redshifts - a measure of velocity away from the Earth - for more than 200
galaxies, Bill Napier of Oxford University and Bruce Guthrie, a retired astronomer from the Royal
Observatory in Edinburgh, claim to have the best evidence yet for a 20-year-old claim: that redshifts
fall into packets, clustered around specific values. Few astronomers have taken the notion of "quantized
redshifts" seriously in the past, but some galaxy specialists who have seen the new results - slated to
appear in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics - are no longer dismissing them out of
hand…Harvard galaxy expert John Huchra, another other longtime skeptic, goes further: ‘My
curiosity is now sufficiently whetted that I'm thinking of writing an observing proposal for checking
to see if [the effect] holds up with other galaxies.’ If it does, standard cosmology might be turned on its
ear: ‘It would mean abandoning a great deal of present research,’ says Disney…The expansion stretches the
light of distant galaxies, shifting the spectral lines it contains toward longer - and thus redder - wavelengths.
And according to current models of the expansion of the universe, galaxy speed, and hence redshift,
should increase steadily with distance, rather than bunching around particular values. In 1976,
however, William Tifft of the Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona claimed that visiblelight redshift measurements suggested that galaxies in a cluster in the constellation Coma have
redshifts that fall into distinct velocity packets. The velocities, he said, always came out at some multiple
of about 72 kilometers per second (km/s). A year later, Tifft claimed to have found a similar
"quantization" in the velocities of galaxies closer to our own. The claim met with widespread
indifference, but Tifft and his colleague W. John Cocke continued to amass more evidence for the
effect throughout the 1980s…[Napier and Guthrie] focused on the velocities of spiral galaxies spread
right across the sky to the edge of the Local Supercluster, at a distance of about 100 million
lightyears - making their study the most extensive test yet of quantized redshifts. To minimize the
chances that the effect is simply an instrumental quirk, Napier and Guthrie gathered redshift
measurements from eight different, widely spread radio observatories, from Effelsberg in Germany
to Arecibo in Puerto Rico. In all, they studied 97 spirals, each with redshift measurements from
several of the observatories…The analysis revealed a quantization consistent with a fundamental
velocity of 37.5 km/s. According to the astronomers, the probability of getting so strong an effect by
random chance alone is around 1 in 10,000. At the request of a referee appointed by Astronomy and
Astrophysics, Napier and Guthrie went on to repeat the whole process with a further set of 117
galaxies, and the same quantization showed up, this time with a probability of 5 in 10,000 that the
effect was a fluke. The fact that both these independent data sets yield the same quantization, says
Napier, implies ‘an overall probability of getting so strong an effect by chance alone of around 5 in
100 million.’…Responds Napier, ‘If there's a way out of this conclusion, we haven't seen it. And it's not for
lack of trying.’” – Robert Matthews, “Do galaxies fly through the universe in formation? (redshift
observations suggest galaxies travel at quantized speeds),” Science, Feb 9, 1996 v.271, n. 5250, p. 759
“Abstract: William Tifft's data that suggests that redshifted light from distant galaxies is dependent on the
type of galaxy and not on recession speed, a notion which could upend the Big Bang theory. He also
claims that redshifts are quantized like the energy states of an atom. Full Text: If you believe William
Tifft's data, there are problems with the modem cosmos. For instance, maybe--repeat, maybe-it isn't
expanding…If a galaxy's light is redshifted only by the expansion of space (and its own smaller motion
through space), the amount of redshift should depend on its distance and not on what type of galaxy it is.
And the redshifts of all galaxies together should form a random distribution, reflecting the random
distribution of distances at which galaxies are observed. Tifft's observations over the past 20 years have
convinced him that neither of these conditions applies to the real universe…Observing other clusters
and pairs of equidistant galaxies, Tifft made an even more startling discovery. He found that his
galactic redshifts took on only certain discrete values instead of being randomly distributed. In other
words, redshifts appeared to increase by quantum leaps--specifically, by a leap of 45 miles per second,
if the redshift was redshifts of some types of galaxies were distributed at intervals of a third or a half of 45
miles per second. But the basic idea remained: galactic redshifts are quantized, like the energy states of
an atom. That idea has never gone over very well with most of Tifft's peers. The editors of the
Astrophysical Journal grudgingly published his first quantized-redshift paper in 1976, but they
announced in an unusual disclaimer that they couldn't endorse the idea (although they also couldn't
find anything wrong with the underlying observations). The reasons for their dislike are not hard to
fathom. If the universe isn't expanding, there would be no reason to believe it was ever compressed into a
204
single point--no reason, that is, to believe it began with a Big Bang. If redshift isn't a simple measure of
velocity, then the argument that most of the universe is "dark" matter, which is based primarily on elaborate
measurements of galactic velocities, would probably also fall apart. Cosmologists are generally loath to
toss twentieth-century cosmology into the dustbin…That Tifft canot explain why red shifts are
quantized does not, of course, prove that they aren't. There have been several attempts to refute his
observations; in the most recent one, Bruce Guthrie and William Napier, working at the Royal
Observatory in Edinburgh, measured the redshifts of 89 spiral galaxies--and surprised themselves by
uncovering data that support the case for quantized redshifts. The redshifts they measured were spaced
at intervals of about half of Tifft's original quantum of 45 miles per second.” – Dava Sobel, “Man stops
universe, maybe. (William Tifft believes the universe may not be expanding)” Discover, April 1993, v. 14,
n.4, p. 20
“…the redshift distribution has been found to be strongly quantized in the galactocentric frame of
reference. The phenomenon is easily seen by eye and apparently cannot be ascribed to statistical
artifacts, selection procedures or flawed reduction techniques.” – W. Napier and B. Guthrie, Quantized
redshifts: a status report, Journal Astrophysics and Astronomy, 1997 (Cited on “Astronomy and the Bible,”
Mike Riddle, Copyright Northwester Creation Network, nwcreation.net)
“…the quantized distribution of galactic redshifts, observed by various astronomers seems to
contradict the Copernican principle and all cosmologies founded on it – including the big bang.” –
Russell Humphreys, Ph. D. Physics, Starlight and Time, 1994, p. 129 (Cited on “Astronomy and the Bible,”
Mike Riddle, Copyright Northwester Creation Network, nwcreation.net)
“Astronomers have confirmed that numerical values of galaxy redshifts are ‘quantized,’ tending to
fall into distinct groups…That would mean the galaxies tend to be grouped into (conceptual)
spherical shells concentric around our home galaxy.” – Russell Humphreys, Ph. D. Physics, Technical
Journal, 2002 (Cited on “Astronomy and the Bible,” Mike Riddle, Copyright Northwester Creation
Network, nwcreation.net)
“The quanta are at 1 million light-year intervals with nothing in between…The Hubbell telescope has
confirmed this out beyond a billion light years.” – “Astronomy and the Bible,” Mike Riddle, Copyright
Northwester Creation Network, nwcreation.net)
c.
3.
(For an illustration of quantized galaxy distribution around the
central Milky Way Galaxy, please see Cosmology Figure 1.)
The location of the earth’s home galaxy, the Milky Way, at the center
of concentric spherical “shells” of galaxies and other objects is actual
observational fact.
a. the secular mainstream authors describe the “observational
evidence” for the quantization of redshift as…
i. “now very firm,”
ii. “reinforced” by subsequent research and observation,
iii. “overwhelming,”
iv. “amassed,”
v. “extensive,”
vi. “unable to be ascribed to statistical artifacts, selection
procedures or flawed reduction techniques,”
vii. as not possible to be merely “random or a fluke.”
b. The factuality of the centrality of the Milky Way is contrasted
with the assumption of homogeneity
i. Homogeneity is the notion that matter is distributed
uniformly throughout the entire universe, which is
and can only ever be a mere assumption.
1. As indicated earlier in Microsoft Encarta’s
article on the Steady-State theory,
“homogeneity and isotropy are not the
205
same” because the universe could “look
isotropic even though it is not
homogeneous.”
“Steady-State Theory, II THE STEADY-STATE THEORY – Homogeneity and isotropy are not the
same-for example, a universe that grows denser with distance from the observer would still look isotropic
even though it is not homogeneous.” – "Steady-State Theory," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. ©
1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
c.
4.
The quantization of redshift from earth indicates 2 significant
facts regarding isotropy, homogeneity, and the Big Bang
model
i. The distribution of matter looks isotropic from the
earth because earth is near the center of quantized
distribution
ii. The distribution of matter is not homogeneous,
because other locations are not at the center of the
quantized distribution.
Second, philosophical bias is clearly at work again in the resistance and
ignoring of quantized redshift by evolution scientist.
a. The mainstream quotes contained repeated admissions that,
despite how well-attested the quantization of redshift is,
secular cosmologists were reluctant to accept it.
i. The long quote near the end from Discover explicitly
states:
“That idea has never gone over very well with most of Tifft's peers. The editors of the Astrophysical
Journal grudgingly published his first quantized-redshift paper in 1976, but they announced in an unusual
disclaimer that they couldn't endorse the idea (although they also couldn't find anything wrong with the
underlying observations). The reasons for their dislike are not hard to fathom. If the universe isn't
expanding, there would be no reason to believe it was ever compressed into a single point--no reason, that
is, to believe it began with a Big Bang.”
b.
Astronomers tend to resist any empirically observed data that
contradict the Big Bang model because their practice is,
instead, to “interpret their data in terms of the Big Bang
model.”
“Astrophysics, IV THE STUDY OF THE UNIVERSE – Most astronomers today interpret their data
in terms of the big bang model, which in the early 1980s was further refined by the so-called inflationary
theory, an attempt to account for conditions leading to the big bang.” – "Astrophysics," Microsoft®
Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
c.
The philosophical reasons for denying the quantization of
redshift include the overriding desire to avoid the
galactocentric implications of such a quantization.
i. Philosophical preference has played the foundational
role in formulating cosmological models and in
rejecting alternate models…
1. from Aristotle
2. to Einstein
3. to the Steady-State theory
ii. Quantized redshift, an acknowledged, un-dismissible,
well-attested to fact is being ignored so that the
philosophically preferred evolutionary Big Bang
model and the Copernican Principle can survive.
206
d.
5.
The demise of the Copernican Principle under the weight of
observed evidence showing that there is both a center to the
universe and that our galaxy is near that center would have
strong teleological implications.
i. Such teleological implications have been avoided by
evolutionary theorists in order to protect the
philosophical preferences maintained by the Big
Bang theory.
ii. The need to deny any evidence for a galactocentric
universe is due to the inherent effects such evidences
would have on the viability of Big Bang cosmology.
Third, evolutionary cosmologists Napier and Guthrie explicitly assert
that redshift quantization is centered “in the galactocentric frame of
reference.”
“…the redshift distribution has been found to be strongly quantized in the galactocentric frame of
reference. The phenomenon is easily seen by eye and apparently cannot be ascribed to statistical
artifacts, selection procedures or flawed reduction techniques.” – W. Napier and B. Guthrie, Quantized
redshifts: a status report, Journal Astrophysics and Astronomy, 1997 (Cited on “Astronomy and the Bible,”
Mike Riddle, Copyright Northwester Creation Network, nwcreation.net)
a.
The term “galactocentric” is meant to correspond to the
terms…
i. “geocentric,” which means “earth-centered,”
1. The cosmological models of Aristotle and
Ptolemy the universe was earth-centered
and, subsequently titled, “geocentric.”
ii. “heliocentric,” which means “sun-centered.”
1. Likewise, Aristotle and Ptolemy’s models
were replaced by the theory of Copernicus
in which the universe was sun-centered and
thus titled, “heliocentric.”
“Geocentric system – any theory of the structure of the solar system (or the universe) in which Earth
is assumed to be at the centre of all. The most highly developed geocentric system was that of Ptolemy
of Alexandria (2nd century AD). It was generally accepted until the 16th century, after which it was
superseded by heliocentric models such as that of Nicolaus Copernicus.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica
2004 Deluxe Edition
“Heliocentric system – a cosmological model in which the Sun is assumed to lie at or near a central
point (e.g., of the solar system or of the universe) while the Earth and other bodies revolve around it.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
b.
Both the geocentric model and the heliocentric model were
disproved.
“Cosmology, II EVOLUTION OF COSMOLOGICAL THEORIES, D Discovering the Structure of
the Universe – In 1917 American scientist Harlow Shapley measured the distance to several groups of
stars known as globular clusters. He measured these distances by using a method developed in 1912 by
American astronomer Henrietta Leavitt. Leavitt's method relates distance to variations in brightness of
Cepheid variables, a class of stars that vary periodically in brightness. Shapley's distance measurements
showed that the clusters were centered around a point far from the sun. The arrangement of the
clusters was presumed to reflect the overall shape of the galaxy, so Shapley realized that the sun was not
in the center of the galaxy. Just as Copernicus's observations revealed that the earth not at the center
of the universe, Shapley's observations revealed that the sun was not at the center of the galaxy.
Cosmologists now realize that the earth and sun do not occupy any special position in the universe.”
207
– "Cosmology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights
reserved.
“Astronomy – The Milky Way is about 100,000 light-years across, and the sun is roughly 25,000 lightyears from its center.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Jay M. Pasachoff, Ph.D., Field Memorial Professor of
Astronomy and Director, Hopkins Observatory of Williams College.
i. Assuming an evolutionary cosmology and an
evolutionary view of culture, Britannica comments
that “humanity has traveled a long road since selfcentred societies imagined the Earth, the Sun, and the
Moon as the main act, with the formation of the rest
of the universe as almost an afterthought.”
“Cosmos – This article traces the development of modern conceptions of the Cosmos and summarizes the
prevailing theories of its origin and evolution. Humanity has traveled a long road since self-centred
societies imagined the creation of the Earth, the Sun, and the Moon as the main act, with the
formation of the rest of the universe as almost an afterthought. Today it is known that the Earth is
only a small ball of rock in a Cosmos of unimaginable vastness and that the birth of the solar system
was probably only one event among many that occurred against the backdrop of an already mature
universe.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
c.
d.
The assertion in the Journal Astrophysics and Astronomy by
Napier and Guthrie that the universe is structured in a
galactocentric fashion indicates that our galaxy (and therefore,
on a universal scale, the planet Earth) is very much located
near the center of the universe, a position that is not shared by
any other galaxy.
i. While humanity was wrong about geocentric and
heliocentric models, the reality is now
observationally demonstrated to be a galactocentric
universe.
1. Mankind was right about being in the center
all along. We were just wrong about exactly
how we were in the center.
2. It would seem that after perhaps traveling
this long road, humanity has found ourselves
right back where we started, located at the
center of the universe.
Since these comments and admissions originate in the secular,
mainstream science literature from evolutionary cosmologists,
it is not biased interpretation when creationists borrow these
same terms and cite these same facts.
i. Creationist Thomas Kendall states that the earth’s
Milky Way Galaxy is so near to the center of the
universe that if the Milky Way were located just 1-2
million light years in a different direction, we would
not be able to observe the quantization of redshift at
all.
“If we just take our galaxy 2 million light-years off center in any direction three dimensionally, it
changes the angle, not that much, but enough to make a difference where we would not physically be
capable of observing the quantized effect in any direction we looked three dimensionally. It only
works physically and optically if we are at or very near the center. Now, 2 million light-years sounds
like a lot but the universe is so big, that’s nothing compared to the scale of the known, observed
208
universe.” – “Scientific Evidences for a Young Earth,” Thomas Kindall, Seattle Creation Conference 2004,
Copyright Northwest Creation Network, nwcreation.net, 9 minutes
ii. 1-2 million light years is a very small amount
compared to the estimated size of the entire universe
considering that…
1. Number one, the Milky Way Galaxy itself is
only 100,000 light-years in size.
“Galaxy – The Milky Way has a diameter of about 100,000 light-years.” – Worldbook, Contributor:
Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy and Physics, Boston University.
2.
Number two, just the portion of the universe
that we can see is large enough to contain
over 100 billion galaxies.
“Galaxy – Scientists estimate that there are more than 100 billion galaxies scattered throughout the
visible universe.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy and
Physics, Boston University.
a.
3.
Since just the visible universe
contains 100 billion galaxies, the
size of the Milky Way Galaxy is
nothing compared to the known
size of the universe.
b. Yet the Milky Way would only
have to move a distance 10-20
times its own size in order to be out
of center.
Number three, the most distant objects ever
seen are 10-13 billion light years away.
“Galaxy – The most distant galaxies ever photographed are as far as 10 billion to 13 billion lightyears away.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Kenneth Brecher, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy and Physics,
Boston University.
a.
4.
Assuming these are not the farthest
objects, the universe would be at
least 10,000 of times larger than the
1-2 million light years the Milky
Way would have to move in order
to no longer in the visible center of
the universe.
Number four, we can see just how precisely
and uniquely close to the center the Milky
Way must be, especially since the nearest
galaxy, Andromeda, is 1-2 million lightyears away.
“Andromeda Galaxy – the nearest external galaxy (except for the Magellanic Clouds, which are
companions of the Milky Way Galaxy, in which the Earth is located). The Andromeda Galaxy is one of the
few visible to the unaided eye, appearing as a milky blur. It is located about 2,000,000 light-years from
the Earth.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
a.
209
Moving the Milky Way Galaxy 1-2
million light-years in any direction
6.
to would make redshift
quantization undetectable
b. The next nearest galaxy is 2 million
light-years from the Milky Way
c. Therefore, the closest galaxy to the
Milky Way…
i. Is in a location that is not
as near to the center of the
universe
ii. Could not observe or
detect the quantization of
redshift.
5. 1-2 million light years is between 0.020.0077 percent of the 10-13 billion light
years of the most distant objects observed.
a. Thus, the earth’s home galaxy is in
a uniquely central location in the
universe that no other galaxy is in.
iii. (For additional explanation and illustration of how
quantization can only apply to one unique location in
the universe rather than to numerous locations, please
see Cosmology Figures 2a-2d.)
Fourth, some of the articles above hint that quantized redshift might
lead to the conclusion that the universe is not and has never expanded,
and therefore, did not have a beginning at a “big bang.”
a. But the idea of an eternal universe is prohibited by the second
law of thermodynamics.
i. The second law of thermodynamics describes the
phenomenon of entropy. Entropy is the loss of
available energy as disorder increases in a system.
1. The “Steady-State”proposingan eternal
universe was…
a. acknowledged as “philosophically
preferable” because it avoided the
“theological” implications of a
“creation event”
b. rejected on these grounds.
"Food Web, III ENERGY FLOW - The process whereby energy loses its capacity to do work is called
entropy." - "Food Web," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All
rights reserved.
ii. The second law of thermodynamics states that, in a
closed (or isolated) system, entropy always increases.
"Hawking, Stephen William - For instance, the second law of thermodynamics states that entropy, or
disorder, must increase with time." - "Hawking, Stephen William," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia
99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
"Entropy - The idea of entropy is the basis of the second law of thermodynamics. According to this
law, the direction of spontaneous change in isolated systems is toward maximum disorder...Taken
together, all processes occurring now will result in a universe of greater disorder. Because the entropy
of the universe is always increasing, a state of greater entropy must be one that occurs later in time.
For this reason, entropy has been called 'time's arrow.'" - Worldbook, Contributor: Melvyn C. Usselman,
Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry, University of Western Ontario.
210
"Thermodynamics, IV SECOND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS - The second law of
thermodynamics gives a precise definition of a property called entropy. Entropy can be thought of as a
measure of how close a system is to equilibrium; it can also be thought of as a measure of the
disorder in the system. The law states that the entropy-that is, the disorder-of an isolated system can
never decrease. Thus, when an isolated system achieves a configuration of maximum entropy, it can
no longer undergo change: It has reached equilibrium. Nature, then, seems to "prefer" disorder or
chaos." - "Thermodynamics," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation.
All rights reserved.
iii. When a system reaches this state of maximum
entropy, it is said to have reached equilibrium and the
temperature becomes uniform.
1. This state is called heat death.
2. At that point no work or change can occur.
"Heat, Heat/Learning about heat, Thermodynamics - According to the second law, all spontaneous
(natural) events act to increase the entropy within a system. Until a system reaches its maximum
entropy, it can do useful work. But as a system does work, its entropy increases until the system can
no longer perform work." - Worldbook, Contributor: Ared Cezairliyan, Ph.D., Former Research Physicist,
National Institute of Standards and Technology.
"Physics, IV NEWTON AND MECHANICS, E Thermodynamics, 3 The Second Law of
Thermodynamics - From the second law, it follows that in an isolated system (one that has no
interactions with the surroundings) internal portions at different temperatures will always adjust to a
single uniform temperature and thus produce equilibrium...The entropy of an isolated system, and of
the universe as a whole, can only increase, and when equilibrium is eventually reached, no more
internal change of any form is possible. Applied to the universe as a whole, this principle suggests
that eventually all temperature in space becomes uniform, resulting in the so-called heat death of the
universe." - "Physics," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All
rights reserved.
"Physics, The scope of physics, The study of heat, thermodynamics, and statistical mechanics, Second
law - Another formulation of the second law is that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases
with time...Statistical mechanics - From a microscopic point of view the laws of thermodynamics imply
that, whereas the total quantity of energy of any isolated system is constant, what might be called the
quality of this energy is degraded as the system moves inexorably, through the operation of the laws of
chance, to states of increasing disorder until it finally reaches the state of maximum disorder
(maximum entropy), in which all parts of the system are at the same temperature, and none of the
state's energy may be usefully employed. When applied to the universe as a whole, considered as an
isolated system, this ultimate chaotic condition has been called the 'heat death.'" – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
iv. In modern scientific terms, the universe is a closed
system.
1. All that exists is a closed system.
2. Given enough time, a state of maximum
entropy would occur in which there is no
available energy in the universe.
3. If the universe were eternal, this state of
maximum entropy, in which there was no
available energy, no work being done, and
no change occurring, would have been
reached a long time ago.
4. Since the universe still has available energy
and work and change still take place, it
211
cannot be eternally old but must have had a
beginning in the finite past.
7. Conclusions based on the observation of redshift
a. The observation of redshift is what indicates that space has
expanded.
b. The observation that redshift is quantized from earth indicates
that the universe has uniquely expanded from a central
location near the Milky Way Galaxy.
c. The observable evidence clearly establishes that the earth’s
home galaxy is uniquely near to the center of the universe.
d. This fact drastically impacts the age of the universe due to the
fact that a universe with a center would a gravity well at its
center.
viii. Impact of the universe having a center and the resulting gravity at the center on
time.
1. First, gravity warps space, electromagnetic radiation, and, perhaps most
importantly, time.
“Astronomy – Both radio astronomers and optical astronomers have studied a phenomenon known
as gravitational lensing. This phenomenon occurs, for example, where radiation emitted by a small,
distant galaxy passes near a massive galaxy that is between the object and Earth. The gravitational
force of the galaxy apparently bends the radiation much as an ordinary optical lens bends light rays
that pass through it.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Jay M. Pasachoff, Ph.D., Field Memorial Professor of
Astronomy and Director, Hopkins Observatory of Williams College.
“Cosmology, II EVOLUTION OF COSMOLOGICAL THEORIES, D Discovering the Structure of
the Universe – In 1915 German-American physicist Albert Einstein, who was working in Switzerland,
advanced a theory of gravitation known as the general theory of relativity. His theory involves a fourdimensional space-time continuum that bends in the presence of massive objects. This bending causes
light and other objects that are moving near these massive objects to follow a curved path, just as a golfer's
ball curves on a warped putting green. In this way, Einstein explained gravity.” – "Cosmology,"
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Cosmos – Under these circumstances, Albert Einstein taught in his theory of general relativity that
the gravitational field of everything in the universe so warps space and time as to require a very careful
reevaluation of quantities whose seemingly elementary natures are normally taken for granted.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Gravitation and the geometry of space-time – The principle of equivalence in general relativity
allows the locally flat space-time structure of special relativity to be warped by gravitation, so that (in
the cosmological case) the propagation of the photon over thousands of millions of light-years can no
longer be plotted on a globally flat sheet of paper.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Cosmos, Gravitation and the geometry of space-time – To understand why gravitation can curve
space (or more generally, space-time) in such startling ways, consider the following thought experiment
that was originally conceived by Einstein…There is no need to distinguish locally between acceleration
and gravity—the two are in some sense equivalent. But if that is the case, then it must be true that
gravity—“real” gravity—can actually bend light. And indeed it can, as many experiments have
shown since Einstein's first discussion of the phenomenon. It was the genius of Einstein to go even
further. Rather than speak of the force of gravitation having bent the photons into a curved path,
might it not be more fruitful to think of photons as always flying in straight lines—in the sense that a
straight line is the shortest distance between two points—and that what really happens is that gravitation
bends space-time? In other words, perhaps gravitation is curved space-time, and photons fly along the
shortest paths possible in this curved space-time, thus giving the appearance of being bent by a “force”
when one insists on thinking that space-time is flat…The American physicist John Archibald Wheeler and
his colleagues summarized Einstein's view of the universe in these terms: ‘Curved spacetime tells
212
mass-energy how to move; mass-energy tells spacetime how to curve.’” – Encyclopaedia Britannica
2004 Deluxe Edition
2.
Second, in simple terms, the stronger the gravity the greater the time
dilation and the slower that times moves.
a. This is true even in the evolutionary Big Bang model where
the distribution of matter has no edge.
i. The greater the role of gravity in slowing present
expansion of the universe, the younger the universe,
just as indicated in the quote below.
“Cosmos, Relativistic cosmologies, The age of the universe – An indirect method of inferring whether
the universe is bound or unbound involves estimates of the age of the universe. The basic idea is as
follows. For a given present rate of expansion (i.e., Hubble's constant), it is clear that the deceleration
produced by gravitation must act to make the expansion faster in the past and slower in the future.
Thus, the age of the universe (in the absence of a cosmological constant) must always be less than the free
expansion age, H 0?1, which equals 1.5 × 1010 years. The bigger the role for gravity, the smaller the
true age compared to the Hubble time H 0 ?1.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
3.
Third, while greater gravity slows time even when the distribution of
matter has no edge, the gravitational warping of time is much more
pronounced when matter is finitely distributed and therefore has an
edge or boundary to it.
a. Newton described this fact in his discussion of whether or not
the universe is finite or infinite.
i. In Newton’s comments, we find the plain statement
that when the distribution of matter is finite, then the
collective gravity of the whole would manifest at the
center of the distribution.
“Cosmos, Large-scale structure and expansion of the universe, Gravitational theories of clustering –
The fact that gravitation affects all masses may explain why the astronomical universe, although not
uniform, contains structure. This natural idea, which is the basis of much of the modern theoretical
work on the problem, had already occurred to Newton in 1692. Newton wrote to the noted English
scholar and clergyman Richard Bentley: ‘It seems to me, that if the matter of our Sun & Planets & all ye
matter in the Universe was eavenly scattered throughout all the heavens, & every particle had an
innate gravity towards all the rest & the whole space throughout wch [sic] this matter was scattered
was but finite: the matter on ye outside of this space would by its gravity tend towards all ye matter
on the inside & by consequence fall down to ye middle of the whole space & there compose one great
spherical mass. But if the matter was eavenly diffused through an infinite space, it would never
convene into one mass but some of it convene into one mass & some into another so as to make an infinite
number of great masses scattered at great distances from one to another throughout all yt infinite space.
And thus might ye Sun and Fixt stars be formed supposing the matter were of a lucid nature.’” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
4.
Consequently, the closer that all matter is, the greater the gravitational
attraction and the greater the warping of space and time.
a. More importantly, the greater the gravity, the slower that time
moves.
b. Redshift indicates both that…
i. the universe has expanded
ii. the earth is near the center of the universe.
c. When the expansion was just beginning and all the matter in
the universe was much closer together, the time dilation near
the center of the universe where the earth is located would
have been enormous.
213
i. The effect would even cause time on earth to be
moving so slowly that while billions of years passed
farther from the center and the gravity well, only
days would pass on earth.
1. The starlight would have billions of years to
travel from distant stars to earth while only 6
days pass on earth.
a. This is just as the Genesis account
asserts.
b. Physicist, Dr. Russell Humphreys
explains this phenomenon.
“When matter has a center in space, it distorts space. Inside the depression, physical processes and
time slow down. Today the distortion is minor compared with the size of the universe and the passage of
time varies by just a few percent across the width of the depression. But the cosmos is expanding and in
the past the universe was smaller…In the beginning, when the universe was smaller than it is today, all
the matter in the cosmos was closer together. That caused an enormous depression in the fabric of space.
On the earth, near the center of the universe and deep within the depression, time slowed down.
During creation week on earth, time passed as just ordinary days. But near the edge of the
observable universe during the same period, billions of years of physical processes occurred. Thus,
the most distant starlight could easily traverse the vast expanse of the cosmos from the edge to the
center in just a few short earth days.” – 2 “Starlight and Time,” Dr. Russell Humphreys, RealOne
Player, 14 minutes, 25 seconds; 16 minutes, 45 seconds
ii. Since the passage of time would differ throughout the
universe, in order to designate a single, official age
for the entire universe, a specific location would have
to be selected.
1. Once again, Dr. Russell Humphreys
explains.
“The differential rate of time…is scientifically sound. Both experiments and Einstein’s theory of
relativity confirm that in a cosmos only partially filled with matter, the rates of physical processes
would be slower at the center of the matter than at the edge.” – 2 “Starlight and Time,” Dr. Russell
Humphreys, RealOne Player, 18 minutes, 40 seconds
“In a bounded [i.e. having an edge] universe, clocks in different places can tick (or register time) at
drastically different rates. So, which set of clocks is the Bible referring to in Genesis 1, or in Exodus
20:11, when it says that God made the universe in six ordinary weekdays?...Therefore, it looks as if the
Bible is telling us that God made the universe in six days E.S.T.—Earth Standard Time.” – Starlight
and Time, Dr. Russel Humphreys, Ph.D., (in physics), Copyright 1994 by Master Books, United States of
America, p. 29
2.
If earth was selected as the location for
keeping time, which it is in the Genesis
account, then the age at that particular
location would be the official age of the
whole universe, even though time passed
differently in other areas.
5. (For illustrations of how having an edge and a center to the distribution
of matter in the universe creates a time dilation so that distant starlight
can reach the earth even while only 6 days pass as described in Genesis
1, please see Cosmology Figures 3a-3f.)
H. Conclusions on the critical evidence of time and age and as it pertains to the
methodology for dating the universe.
i. We have demonstrated that in regard to evolution theory…
214
1.
The evolutionary assumptions that the earth has no special or central
location in the universe were mere philosophical preferences and are
not observationally driven.
2. The evolutionary assumptions that the earth has no special or central
location in the universe have been observationally proven false due to
the observed quantization of redshift.
ii. We have demonstrated that in regard to creation theory…
1. Thus, with the evidence from observing cosmology is not an obstacle,
but rather a support, for the creationist model against the evolutionary
model
2. There is nothing that we know scientifically today from observation
that disproves the Genesis model concerning the age of the universe.
a. Because of the observable evidence of both expansion and the
central location, light from distant stars and redshift do not in
any way disprove the 6,000-10,000 year age of the earth or
even the 6 day creation week reported in Genesis 1.
i. Instead the evidence actually peculiarly supports the
Genesis account.
3. If we use only the observations about the universe, the evidence
demands that the amount of time that passed on earth has been far less
than the billions of years required for the biological evolution of life
and the origin of species.
4. The creationist model has been judged on the evidence and
consequently, it has proven to be a theory that affirmed in a testable
and potentially falsifiable manner rather than by blind presupposition or
mere philosophical preference.
iii. The only thing contradicting the six-day, six-thousand year model of Genesis is
philosophical preference of evolutionist resulting in a theory that is…
1. more complicated,
2. more heavily assumption-laden,
3. less philosophically sound,
4. not warranted by the observations,
5. ultimately disproved by direct observational evidence of redshift
quantization.
XIV. Focus on Critical Evidence: Dating Methods, Introduction and Perceptions
A. Evidence related to the geologic dating methods for the age of the earth.
i. Geologic dating methods have to do with dating the earth’s rocks, rock layers,
minerals, fossils and other landform features.
1. The methods can be divided into 2 broad categories known as “relative
dating” and “absolute dating.”
a. Relative dating methods deal directly with the order in which
rock layers are found.
i. It is perhaps the most crucial geologic feature for
dating the earth that rock formations are distributed
in layers.
b. Absolute dating is the dating of items through radioactive
isotopes.
i. Absolute dating is also commonly called radiometric
dating.
ii. Using these geological dating methods, evolutionary scientists assert that the
earth’s age has been determined to be about 4-5 billion years old.
“Dating Methods, I INTRODUCTION – Dating Methods, in earth science, methods used to date the
age of rocks and minerals. By applying this information, geologists are able to decipher the 4.6billion-year history of the earth.” – "Dating Methods," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 19931998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
215
“Geologic sciences, Study of surface features and processes, Earth history, Historical geology and
stratigraphy – Radiometric dating also helped geochronologists discover the vast span of geologic time.
The radiometric dating of meteorites revealed that the Earth, like other bodies of the solar system, is
about 4,600,000,000 years old and that the oldest rocks so far discovered formed roughly
3,800,000,000 years ago.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Earth sciences, The 20th century: modern trends and developments, Geologic sciences, Radiometric
dating – By determining the amount of the parent and daughter isotopes present in a sample and by
knowing their rate of radioactive decay (each radioisotope has its own decay constant), the isotopic age of
the sample can be calculated…Also by extrapolating backward in time to a situation when there was no
lead that had been produced by radiogenic processes, a figure of about 4,600,000,000 years is obtained
for the minimum age of the Earth.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
iii. This age and these dating methods form the basis for the rejection of creation
theory by many people.
1. Creation theory asserts an age that is only 6,000 to 10,000 years for the
earth, a figure that these methods indicate is much too young.
2. Consequently, this issue creates a general impression that creationists
are either ignorant of the facts, unreasonable, have a faith that is
unconcerned with facts, or are simply in plain, old-fashioned denial.
3. For this reason, it is important to clearly address such perceptions at the
very beginning of this segment.
B. Dealing with Perceptions about Geological Dating Methods
i. Dating methods do not work in the way people commonly conceive of them and
the evolutionary time scale is not constructed in the way people commonly think
it is.
1. Perception Figures 1-8 depict some common ways that people might
conceive of the way that calculating ages and proving evolutionary
time work.
a. (See Perception Figures 1-8.)
2. With these common misperceptions, many people ask, “How can
creationists argue with this?”
a. For example, if the geologic column and all its fossils are
arranged after a machine or computer scans them and tells us
their exact age, how can anyone argue with that?
3. Despite their persistent and pervasive nature, all of the perceptions
about geologic dating depicted in the illustrations are completely false.
ii. By contrast, some simple (and perhaps rarely understood) facts about how
dating processes actually work (that we will see are stated in secular and
evolutionary sources.)
1. (See Dating Facts Figure 1.)
a. The process of geologic dating does not start with radiometric
dating.
b. There is no machine or computer that can “scan” or analyze a
rock and tell its age.
c. In fact, of all the factors that must be known in order to
radiometrically date a rock, ONLY 1 can be tested for or
observed.
d. Four out of the five factors necessary for determining
radiometric age CANNOT be tested for or observed.
e. Fossils older than 50,000 years CANNOT be radiometrically
dated.
f. All fossils are found in sedimentary rock. Sedimentary rock
CANNOT be radiometrically dated.
216
g.
The geologic column is NOT created by arranging rock layers
according to their radiometric dates.
h. There is NO place where the geologic column actually exists.
i. There is NO place where more than a few layers of the
geologic column exist, particularly in the right “evolutionary”
order.
iii. In reality, dating procedure actually works in a much more complicated, much
more problematic, and far less certain manner as depicted in Dating Figures 113.
1. (See Dating Procedures Figures 1-13.)
iv. The common perception that creationists are attempting to deny observable
facts, but the reality is that the dating processes upon which the evolutionary
timescale is based are simply not a matter of observable fact or evidence.
1. These dating processes …
a. Are constructs derived from stacking together a number of
mere assumptions.
b. Are flawed individually
c. Require circular reasoning between relative dating methods,
absolute dating methods, and evolutionary theory itself.
C. Preview on Covering Geologic Dating Methods
i. We will take a look at the main questions concerning the amount of time that
has passed on earth.
1. When it comes to the age of the earth, are creationists simply in denial
of inarguable, concrete evidence?
2. Or, is the idea of an earth that is billions of years old based merely
empty equations that presuppose evolution and use assumed and
adjustable numbers rather than real, objective numbers?
ii. We will answer these questions and document the facts summarily presented in
the illustrations above.
iii. We will start by covering the most basic foundations of each theory’s view of
geologic history.
iv. We will proceed to analyze and discuss the details of how relative dating and
absolute dating (radiometric dating) work.
217
XV. Focus on Critical Evidence: Basic Views of Geology
A. Geologic Time – a Critical Issue: How the earth’s physical features formed.
i. Alternatives and Questions
1. Did these features take a long time to form?
a. If geologic features form from slow processes and take a long
time to form, then the earth might very well be millions or
billions of years old.
2. Or did they form quickly and within a 6,000 to 10,000 year period?
a. If geologic features form from fast-acting process that do not
require more than days, weeks, months or several years, then
the earth might very well be quite young.
3. 2 views concerning the age of the earth and whether or not geologic
features form quickly or slowly, which form the backbone of all
geologic dating
a. uniformitarianism
b. catastrophism
ii. Uniformitarianism is the current, underlying theory of geology and evolutionary
science.
1. This view asserts that all of the geologic features of the earth were
formed slowly by the same normative processes that occur today and
everyday.
2. Uniformitarianism is the backbone of…
a. relative dating,
b. radioactive dating
i. this is due to the circular reasoning between relative
and radiometric dating
ii. simply, radioactive dating is dependent on relative
dating, which is dependent on the principle of
uniformitarianism
3. Basic facts about uniformitarianism.
a. First, uniformitarianism is a “fundamental” concept to modern
geology.
b. Second, uniformitarianism is defined by the idea that geologic
features formed from slow processes that require long ages.
c. Third, uniformitarianism provides the basis for calculating
“old” ages of the earth.
d. Fourth, uniformitarianism contrasts to “biblical explanations”
for the earth’s features, such as the biblical flood.
e. Fifth, uniformitarianism was introduced in 1875 by James
Hutton and became popularly accepted in the 1800’s through
the efforts of Sir Charles Lyell.
“Lyell, Sir Charles – (1797-1875) was a British geologist whose writings established
uniformitarianism as the basis of modern geology. Uniformitarianism is the theory that the gradual
processes shaping the earth today, such as erosion, also formed the earth's features in the past. James
Hutton, a Scottish geologist, had introduced this theory in 1785. In Lyell's day, however, most scientists
still believed the earth had been shaped by rare and sudden events that were unique to the past. Lyell
convincingly set forth the theory of uniformitarianism in his three-volume work Principles of Geology
(1830-1833). He stated that most of the earth's structural features could be explained as the result of
constantly occurring processes over millions of years. Lyell supported his theory by analyzing the longterm effect of observable events, such as the erosion of land by rivers.” – Worldbook, Contributor:
Dennis R. Dean, Ph.D., Former Professor of English and Humanities, University of Wisconsin, Parkside.
“Uniformitarianism – in geology, the doctrine that existing processes acting in the same manner and
with essentially the same intensity as at present are sufficient to account for all geologic change.
Uniformitarianism posits that natural agents now at work on and within the Earth have operated with
218
general uniformity through immensely long periods of time. When William Whewell, a University of
Cambridge scholar, introduced the term in 1832…This principle is fundamental to geologic thinking
and underlies the whole development of the science of geology.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004
Deluxe Edition
“Geology, The rock dispute – In 1795, in a book called Theory of the Earth, Hutton presented what
would later be called the principle of uniformitarianism. He claimed that Earth was gradually
changing in a variety of ways and would continue to change in the same ways…Hutton died in 1797,
before other scientists accepted his ideas. But in 1802, John Playfair, a Scottish mathematician, expanded
on Hutton's work in the book Illustrations of the Huttonian Theory of the Earth. This book presented
Hutton's ideas clearly and with illustrations. It became a leading guide to the development of the field
of geology.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Maria Luisa Crawford, Ph.D., Professor of Geology, Bryn Mawr
College.
“Geochronology, The emergence of modern geologic thought, James Hutton's recognition of the
geologic cycle – Hutton's formulation of the principle of uniformitarianism, which holds that Earth
processes occurring today had their counterparts in the ancient past, while not the first time that this
general concept was articulated, was probably the most important geologic concept developed out of
rational scientific thought of the 18th century. The publication of Hutton's two-volume Theory of the
Earth in 1795 firmly established him as one of the founders of modern geologic thought.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Geochronology, Lyell's promulgation of uniformitarianism – Hutton's words were not lost on the
entire scientific community. Charles Lyell, another Scottish geologist, was a principal proponent of
Hutton's approach, emphasizing gradual change by means of known geologic processes. In his own
observations on rock and faunal successions, Lyell was able to demonstrate the validity of Hutton's
doctrine of uniformitarianism and its importance as one of the fundamental philosophies of the
geologic sciences…This, along with the increased recognition of the utility of fossils in interpreting
rock successions, made it possible to begin addressing the question of the meaning of time in Earth
history.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Geology, II GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY, C Uniformitarianism – Uniformitarianism,
or actualism, helps geologists use their knowledge of modern processes and events to reconstruct the
past.” – "Geology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All
rights reserved.
“Geochronology, Development of radioactive dating methods and their application, Early attempts at
calculating the age of the Earth – From the time of Hutton's refinement of uniformitarianism, the
principle found wide application in various attempts to calculate the age of the Earth. As previously
noted, fundamental to the principle was the premise that various Earth processes of the past operated
in much the same way as those processes operate today. The corollary to this was that the rates of the
various ancient processes could be considered the same as those of the present day. Therefore, it
should be possible to calculate the age of the Earth on the basis of the accumulated record of some
process that has occurred at this determinable rate since the Creation.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004
Deluxe Edition
“Hutton, James – Hutton devoted his time to extensive scientific reading and traveled widely to inspect
rocks and observe the actions of natural processes. His chief contribution to scientific knowledge, the
uniformitarian principle, was put forward in his papers presented to the Royal Society of Edinburgh in
1785…Hutton's view as stated in these papers was that the world's geologic phenomena can be
explained in terms of observable processes, and that those processes now at work on and within the
Earth have operated with general uniformity over immensely long periods of time. These two papers
marked a turning point for geology; from that time on, geology became a science founded upon the
principle of uniformitarianism…Hutton claimed that the totality of these geologic processes could
fully explain the current landforms all over the world, and no biblical explanations were necessary in
this regard. Finally, he stated that the processes of erosion, deposition, sedimentation, and upthrusting
219
were cyclical and must have been repeated many times in the Earth's history. Given the enormous spans
of time taken by such cycles, Hutton asserted that the age of the Earth must be inconceivably great.”
– Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Hutton, James – Hutton, James (1726-1797), British geologist, who originated the modern theory of
the gradual evolution of the earth's crust…Hutton formulated the uniformitarian theory of geology,
which suggested that such processes as sedimentation, volcanism, and erosion caused changes in the
surface of the earth and had been operating in the same manner and at the same rate over a very
long period of time. Thus, he saw the earth as being much older than had been previously thought;
this aroused strong opposition from those who believed in James Ussher's biblical chronology published in
1650, which stated that the world was created in 4004 BC (BCE). Hutton summarized his theories in
Theory of the Earth (2 volumes, 1795).” – "Hutton, James," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. ©
1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Continental landform, Historical survey, Landform theories of the 18th and 19th centuries,
Uniformitarianism – The Huttonian proposal that the Earth has largely achieved its present form
through the past occurrence of processes still in operation has come to be known as the doctrine of
uniformitarianism...Uniformitarianism also became the working principle for a growing number of
geologic historians, notably William Smith and Sir Charles Lyell, in the 19th century. This was
necessary as Lyell argued increasingly that geologic change was incremental and gradual. He needed
a longer time scale if this approach was to work, and geologic historians were finding it for him.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Hutton, James – Hutton, James (1726-1797), British geologist, who originated the modern theory of
the gradual evolution of the earth's crust…Hutton formulated the uniformitarian theory of geology,
which suggested that such processes as sedimentation, volcanism, and erosion caused changes in the
surface of the earth and had been operating in the same manner and at the same rate over a very
long period of time. Thus, he saw the earth as being much older than had been previously thought;
this aroused strong opposition from those who believed in James Ussher's biblical chronology published in
1650, which stated that the world was created in 4004 BC (BCE). Hutton summarized his theories in
Theory of the Earth (2 volumes, 1795).” – "Hutton, James," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. ©
1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Lyell, Sir Charles – (1797-1875), Scottish geologist, whose writings strongly influenced the
development of modern geology…Building on the pioneering work of the 18th-century Scottish
geologist James Hutton, Lyell developed the theory of uniformitarianism. This theory says that the
natural processes that change the earth in the present have operated in the past at the same gradual
rate.” – "Lyell, Sir Charles," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation.
All rights reserved.
“Hutton, James – (1726-1797), a Scottish philosopher and chemist, was a pioneer in the field of
geology. His main contributions included the ideas that Earth was immensely old and that its
features were constantly and gradually changing. He argued that many such changes were caused by
heat within Earth. Hutton discussed this geological change in his book Theory of the Earth (1795). His
theory that geological forces are the same now as in the past became known as uniformitarianism…
According to Hutton, rocks were constantly breaking down into soil. The soil was washed off the
continents and carried into the sea by rain and rivers. Then, heat from under Earth's surface
consolidated the soil into new layers of rock and eventually elevated the rock above sea level. This
process led to the creation of new continents, which replaced those that had been worn away. Many
thinkers of Hutton's day accepted Biblical evidence that Earth was about 6,000 years old. Hutton
thought that this figure was much too low.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Dennis R. Dean, Ph.D., Former
Professor of English and Humanities, University of Wisconsin, Parkside.
“Archaeology, History, Beginnings – By the early 1800's, geologists had determined that rock
formation resulted from extremely slow processes, such as erosion and volcanic activity. This view,
known as uniformitarianism, led most scholars to believe that the earth was much older than
220
previously thought.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Thomas R. Hester, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology,
University of Texas, Austin.
4.
The long ages of evolutionary time were developed long before
radiometric dating was even invented – This is an important point.
a. The uniformitarian principle was the first step that “led most
scholars to believe that the earth was much older than
previously thought,” emerged in the 1800’s, long before
radiometric dating was developed.
“Dating Methods, II DEVELOPMENT OF RELATIVE AND ABSOLUTE METHODS – With the
methods then available, 19th-century geologists could only construct a relative time scale. Thus, the
actual age of the earth and the duration, in millions of years, of the units of the time scale remained
unknown until the dawn of the 20th century. After radioactivity was discovered, radiometric dating
methods were quickly developed. With these new methods geologists could calibrate the relative scale
of geologic time, thereby creating an absolute one.” – "Dating Methods," Microsoft® Encarta®
Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Earth sciences, The 20th century: modern trends and developments, Geologic sciences, Radiometric
dating – Versions of the modern mass spectrometer were invented in the early 1920s and 1930s, and
during World War II the device was improved substantially to help in the development of the atomic bomb.
Soon after the war, Harold C. Urey and G.J. Wasserburg applied the mass spectrometer to the study
of geochronology.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Earth sciences, The 20th century: modern trends and developments, Geologic sciences, Radiometric
dating – In 1905, shortly after the discovery of radioactivity, the American chemist Bertram
Boltwood suggested that lead is one of the disintegration products of uranium, in which case the older a
uranium-bearing mineral the greater should be its proportional part of lead. Analyzing specimens whose
relative geologic ages were known, Boltwood found that the ratio of lead to uranium did indeed increase
with age. After estimating the rate of this radioactive change he calculated that the absolute ages of
his specimens ranged from 410,000,000 to 2,200,000,000 years. Though his figures were too high by
about 20 percent, their order of magnitude was enough to dispose of the short scale of geologic time
proposed by Lord Kelvin.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
b.
5.
6.
This demonstrates that the evolutionary timescale and history
of the earth simply was not developed from radiometric
dating.
Hutton’s principle of uniformitarian is described as “comparable” to the
“revolution in thought” brought about by Nicolaus Copernicus,
Johannes Kepler, and Galileo.
a. From our last segment we recall that the “Copernican
Revolution” and the “Copernican Principle” are popularly
regarded among evolutionists who associate the historic events
surrounding men like Copernicus with steps away from…
i. the biblical view of history
ii. the world in which the earth was specially created by
an intelligent, supernatural being only several
thousand years ago.
b. Here Hutton is being given credit for furthering the removal of
the biblical worldview.
Uniformitarianism and slow, gradual processes
a. Examples of the kinds of slow, everyday processes that
uniformitarianism asserts are responsible for geologic features,
including such processes as:
i. volcanism, sedimentation, erosion, weathering,
running water, moving ice, and gravity.
221
“Geochronology, The emergence of modern geologic thought, James Hutton's recognition of the
geologic cycle – Ample evidence from Hutton's Scotland provided the key to unraveling the often thought
but still rarely stated premise that events occurring today at the Earth's surface—namely erosion,
transportation and deposition of sediments, and volcanism—seem to have their counterparts
preserved in the rocks. The rocks of the Scottish coast and the area around Edinburgh proved the catalyst
for his argument that the Earth is indeed a dynamic, ever-changing system, subject to a sequence of
recurrent cycles of erosion and deposition and of subsidence and uplift. Hutton's formulation of the
principle of uniformitarianism, which holds that Earth processes occurring today had their
counterparts in the ancient past, while not the first time that this general concept was articulated, was
probably the most important geologic concept developed out of rational scientific thought of the 18th
century.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Continental landform, Historical survey, Landform theories of the 18th and 19th centuries,
Uniformitarianism – The Huttonian proposal that the Earth has largely achieved its present form
through the past occurrence of processes still in operation has come to be known as the doctrine of
uniformitarianism…In this area of study, research emphasis is placed on observing what can be
accomplished by a contemporary geologic agency such as running water. Later, the role of moving
ice, gravity, and wind in the molding of valleys and hillslopes came to be appreciated by study of
these phenomena.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Uniformitarianism – The idea that the laws that govern geologic processes have not changed during
the history of the Earth were articulated by the 18th-century Scottish geologist James Hutton, who in
1785 presented his ideas—later published in two volumes as Theory of the Earth (1795)—at meetings of
the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In this work Hutton showed that the Earth had along history and that
this history could be interpreted in terms of processes observed at the present, of which he gave
examples. He showed, for instance, how soils were formed by the weathering of rocks and how layers
of sediment accumulated…the effect of his ideas on the learned world can be compared only with the
earlier revolution in thought brought about by Nicolaus Copernicus, Johannes Kepler, and Galileo
when they displaced the concept of a universe centred on the Earth with the concept of a solar system
centred on the Sun.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
b.
The uniformitarian view states that fossils are formed by the
gradual laying down of rock layers by these normal, slow
processes.
i. Sir Charles Lyell operated on Hutton’s notion that
earth’s soil and rock layers were formed by such
normal, slow processes.
“Uniformitarianism – The idea that the laws that govern geologic processes have not changed during
the history of the Earth were articulated by the 18th-century Scottish geologist James Hutton, who in
1785 presented his ideas—later published in two volumes as Theory of the Earth (1795)—at meetings of
the Royal Society of Edinburgh…He showed, for instance, how soils were formed by the weathering of
rocks and how layers of sediment accumulated…” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
ii. Since those rock layers were understood to take long
ages to form, Lyell then supposed the following.
1. First, that the fossils in the layers must have
been buried as those layers formed.
2. Second, that the organisms in the fossil
record must themselves date from very long
ages ago in the past.
“Lyell, Sir Charles – (1797-1875) Building on the pioneering work of the 18th-century Scottish geologist
James Hutton, Lyell developed the theory of uniformitarianism…Lyell is also considered one of the
founders of stratigraphy, the study of the layers of the earth's surface. He developed a method for
222
classifying strata, or layers, by studying ancient marine beds in western Europe. Lyell observed that
the marine beds closest to the surface, therefore the most recent, contained many species of shellbearing mollusks that still live in today's seas. On the other hand, deeper, older strata contained fewer
and fewer fossils of living species. Lyell divided the rocks of this period into three epochs, based on
decreasing percentages of modern species. The names he proposed-Eocene, Miocene, and Pliocene-are
still used today.” – "Lyell, Sir Charles," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft
Corporation. All rights reserved.
c.
Uniformitarianism is foundational to the process of dating
fossils according to the rock layers they are found in.
i. As indicated by the quote above, this process is
called stratigraphy.
1. We will cover more on stratigraphy later on.
d. Also notice that Lyell’s divisions of time into the Eocene,
Miocene, and Pliocene epochs are “still used today.”
i. Once again, we see that the basic evolutionary
timescale and history were already developed without
radiometric dating, long before radiometric dating
was even invented.
iii. Catastrophism – a contrast to uniformitarianism
1. Catastrophism was the established geological view before the arrival of
uniformitarianism.
a. (As indicated by the previous reference to Copernicus in one
of the quotes above.)
b. Like the views of Copernicus, uniformitarianism effectively
replaced catastrophism as the dominant view in geology.
2. Catastrophism is defined as the view that geologic features were
formed rapidly by catastrophic events.
a. Particularly the flood recorded in the book of Genesis.
b. Thus, in this view, the earth was formed only several thousand
years ago by a supernatural, intelligent being.
“Lyell, Sir Charles – was a British geologist whose writings established uniformitarianism as the
basis of modern geology…In Lyell's day, however, most scientists still believed the earth had been
shaped by rare and sudden events that were unique to the past.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Dennis R.
Dean, Ph.D., Former Professor of English and Humanities, University of Wisconsin, Parkside.
“Hutton, James – Hutton devoted his time to extensive scientific reading and traveled widely to inspect
rocks and observe the actions of natural processes. His chief contribution to scientific knowledge, the
uniformitarian principle, was put forward in his papers presented to the Royal Society of Edinburgh in
1785…Hutton's ideas were astonishing when viewed in the context of the opinion of his day. By the late
18th century, much knowledge had been gained about rocks, strata, and fossils, but none of this wealth
of data had been synthesized into a workable general theory of geology. Such a task was seriously
impeded by the still-accepted belief that the Earth had been created only about 6,000 years ago,
according to the narrative in the biblical book of Genesis. The world's sedimentary rocks were
believed by some geologists to have been formed when immense quantities of minerals precipitated
out of the waters of the biblical flood. Erosional processes had long been recognized, but there was no
equivalent explanation for the creation of land surfaces, as opposed to their destruction by erosion.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Uniformitarianism – Uniformitarianism posits that natural agents now at work on and within the Earth
have operated with general uniformity through immensely long periods of time. When William Whewell,
a University of Cambridge scholar, introduced the term in 1832, the prevailing view (called
catastrophism) was that the Earth had originated through supernatural means and had been affected
by a series of catastrophic events such as the biblical Flood.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe
Edition
223
“Geochronology, The emergence of modern geologic thought, James Hutton's recognition of the
geologic cycle – In the late 1780s the Scottish scientist James Hutton launched an attack on much of
the geologic dogma that had its basis in either Werner's Neptunist approach or its corollary that the
prevailing configuration of the Earth's surface is largely the result of past catastrophic events which
have no modern counterparts…Hutton took issue with the catastrophist and Neptunist approach to
interpreting rock histories and instead used deductive reasoning to explain what he saw. By Hutton's
account, the Earth could not be viewed as a simple, static world not currently undergoing change.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Lyell, Sir Charles – Uniformitarianism contradicted the theory of catastrophism, which was
popular among scientists of Lyell's time. Catastrophism claimed that only major catastrophes could
change the basic formation of the earth, and that the earth was only about 6000 years old. Most
scientists believed that catastrophism was consistent with the Bible's account of the earth's creation.”
– "Lyell, Sir Charles," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All
rights reserved.
“Creationism, V RECENT TRENDS – Flood geology gained wider acceptance after the publication of
The Genesis Flood (1961), jointly authored by conservative biblical scholar John C. Whitcomb, Jr., and
hydraulic engineer Henry M. Morris. This immensely influential book promoted Price's views as
fundamentalist orthodoxy, and prompted the formation in 1963 of the Creation Research Society. The
society is dedicated to the promotion of what has come to be known as young-earth creationism (by
contrast with the old-earth creationism associated with the Day-Age and Gap theories). The most
distinctive feature of young-earth creationism is its reliance on catastrophism, the doctrine that
large-scale changes in the earth's crust are to be explained by violent, unrepeatable geologic events,
such as the biblical flood.” – "Creationism," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998
Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Hutton, James – Many thinkers of Hutton's day accepted Biblical evidence that Earth was about
6,000 years old. Hutton thought that this figure was much too low. Most theorists also believed that only
rare disasters, such as earthquakes, could change Earth's appearance.” – Worldbook, Contributor:
Dennis R. Dean, Ph.D., Former Professor of English and Humanities, University of Wisconsin, Parkside.
3.
Within catastrophism, examples of geologic feature formation from
catastrophic events include:
a. the flood recorded in the Bible,
b. volcanic eruptions,
c. asteroid impacts,
d. hurricanes, etc.
e. All such catastrophic events fit into catastrophism because of
their ability to form major geologic features very rapidly
rather than requiring long ages of slow processes.
“Continental landform, Landform theories of the 18th and 19th centuries, Catastrophism – Asteroid
impacts, Krakatoa-type volcanic explosions, hurricanes, floods, and tectonic erosion of mountain
systems all occur, may be catastrophic, and can create and destroy landforms. Yet, not all change is
catastrophic.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
4.
Catastrophism assertions about fossils:
a. Fossils are laid down quickly as rock layers are formed by
catastrophe,
b. The majority of earth’s fossils were formed in this way
particularly by the flood recorded in Genesis.
“Continental landform, Historical survey, Landform theories of the 18th and 19th centuries,
Catastrophism – doctrine that explains the differences in fossil forms encountered in successive
224
stratigraphic levels as being the product of repeated cataclysmic occurrences and repeated new
creations.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Darwin, Charles Robert, II VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE – In his geological observations, Darwin
was most impressed with the effect that natural forces had on shaping the earth's surface. At the
time, most geologists adhered to the so-called catastrophist theory that the earth had experienced a
succession of creations of animal and plant life, and that each creation had been destroyed by a sudden
catastrophe, such as an upheaval or convulsion of the earth's surface (see Geology: History of Geological
Thought: 18th and 19th Centuries). According to this theory, the most recent catastrophe, Noah's flood,
wiped away all life except those forms taken into the ark. The rest were visible only in the form of
fossils. In the view of the catastrophists, species were individually created and immutable, that is,
unchangeable for all time. The catastrophist viewpoint (but not the immutability of species) was
challenged by the English geologist Sir Charles Lyell in his three-volume work Principles of Geology
(1830-33). Lyell maintained that the earth's surface is undergoing constant change, the result of
natural forces operating uniformly over long periods.” – "Darwin, Charles Robert," Microsoft®
Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Hutton, James – By the late 18th century, much knowledge had been gained about rocks, strata, and
fossils, but none of this wealth of data had been synthesized into a workable general theory of geology.
Such a task was seriously impeded by the still-accepted belief that the Earth had been created only
about 6,000 years ago, according to the narrative in the biblical book of Genesis. The world's
sedimentary rocks were believed by some geologists to have been formed when immense quantities of
minerals precipitated out of the waters of the biblical flood.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe
Edition
5.
Clarification between Catastrophism and Neptunism.
a. Neptunism…
i. Also presents the idea of the rock formation
occurring as rock layers were laid down by water
ii. Is a related but distinct theory to catastrophism
iii. Was also prominent before the age of
uniformitarianism.
iv. Is named after the god of the sea in Roman
mythology.
“Geology, The rock dispute – Theorists who based their ideas on the notion that all rocks were formed
from a global ocean were called Neptunists-after Neptune, the Roman god of the sea.” – Worldbook,
Contributor: Maria Luisa Crawford, Ph.D., Professor of Geology, Bryn Mawr College.
b.
While Neptunism and catastrophism have some overlap, they
are not one and the same – they are different
i. Mechanisms of formation
1. Neptunism focuses solely on the ocean as
the mechanism for rock formation
2. Catastrophism can assign an equal role to
other events such as volcanic eruptions,
earthquakes, asteroid impacts, etc.
“Earth sciences, The 16th-18th centuries, Geologic sciences, Earth history according to Werner and
James Hutton – The two major theories of the 18th century were the Neptunian and the Plutonian. The
Neptunists, led by Werner and his students, maintained that the Earth was originally covered by a
turbid ocean. The first sediments deposited over the irregular floor of this universal ocean formed
the granite and other crystalline rocks. Then as the ocean began to subside, "Stratified" rocks were
laid down in succession.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
ii. Rate of formation
225
1.
Catastrophism is defined by its emphasis on
mechanisms that rapidly produce geologic
features
2. Neptunism’s focus on the ocean as the
mechanism for geologic features does not
require rapid action but can allow for slower
formation in a longer timescale.
iv. Uniformitarianism is an un-provable assumption.
1. The formation of geologic features by the slow, gradual, everyday
processes of uniformitarianism is simply beyond observation.
a. This is because uniformitarianism involves excessively long
ages of time, much longer than any human lifespan,
2. No one has ever observed geologic features being formed over long
ages of time by such slow processes.
a. All we can simply see is existing features being affected only
in a minor way by such processes.
3. Consequently, uniformitarianism cannot be tested or confirmed
observationally.
4. Uniformitarianism is an uncertain assumption.
a. When speaking of geologic processes, such as weathering and
the accumulation of sedimentary rock layers, Britannica
Encyclopedia admits to the fact that “it is not at all certain on a
priori grounds whether such rates are representative of the
past.”
“Geochronology, Nonradiometric dating – In addition to radioactive decay, many other processes
have been investigated for their potential usefulness in absolute dating. Unfortunately, they all occur
at rates that lack the universal consistency of radioactive decay. Sometimes human observation can
be maintained long enough to measure present rates of change, but it is not at all certain on a priori
grounds whether such rates are representative of the past…Nonradioactive absolute chronometers
may conveniently be classified in terms of the broad areas in which changes occur—namely, geologic and
biological processes, which will be treated here… Geologic processes as absolute chronometers,
Weathering processes – During the first third of the 20th century, several presently obsolete weathering
chronometers were explored…Accumulational processes – The fossiliferous part of the geologic
column includes perhaps 122,000 metres of sedimentary rock if maximum thicknesses are selected from
throughout the world. During the late 1800s, attempts were made to estimate the time over which it
formed by assuming an average rate of sedimentation.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe
Edition
b.
c.
In a debate with creationist Dr. Kent Hovind, evolutionary
biologists Dr. William Moore of Wayne State University in
Detroit, Michigan likewise admits that uniformitarian
principles…
i. “cannot be deduced or proven to be true,”
ii. are “simply taken to be true by assumption and
supposition,”
iii. that evolutionists “can’t really defend these
assumptions.”
Dr. Moore goes on to state that the first geological views
asserting that the earth…
i. were developed in the 18th and 19th century (by such
men as Lyell and Hutton)
ii. were “essentially” the result of these indefensible,
un-deducible, unproven and un-provable assumptions
and suppositions.
226
d.
Dr. Moore admits that the philosophical preference (rather
than observation) that is the driving force behind evolutionary
models is also the driving force in uniformitarianism.
i. In the case of uniformitarianism and geologic time it
is a philosophical preference for an old earth.
“What I see as the foundation, the key to understanding this conflict, lies at the various deepest levels
in the philosophies of science and religion. That is, in the metaphysics of the contrasting philosophical
systems. So, what I’m going to say here for the next few minutes is going to sound like philosophy of
science 101…I also point out that I use the word metaphysics…as that area of philosophy that deals
with first principles, with those things that cannot be deduced or proven to be true. We simply take
them to be true by assumption and supposition. We might say, for example, let’s suppose that the
geological forces of erosion, volcanism, glaciation, etc., etc. that we see operating today have always
worked in the same way. What could we learn from this? What would this lead to as a set of inferences
about the earth’s history that may seem sensible. We can’t really defend these assumptions…We can’t
prove it to be true. We can simply make it a part of our philosophical system and see how successful that
system is in leading us to new discoveries. This is essentially what geologists did in the late 18th and
19th century. And this led to the very first inkling that the earth must be a pretty old place. At the
base of science, I think, is a very small and clear set of first principles, the metaphysics of science. And that
leads to the so-called scientific method.” – “The History of Life: Creation or Evolution?” Debate: Dr. Kent
Hovind vs. Dr. William Moore at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, Creation Science
Evangelism, Pensacola, FL, www.drdino.com, Windows Media Video, 29 minutes, 30 seconds
5.
6.
The philosophical preference for an old earth.
a. Like the counterpart philosophical preferences in cosmology,
long ages of time remove special attention to humankind,
special creation, and teleology – all of which are inherent to a
young earth.
b. Long ages of time are also necessary for biological evolution
to occur.
i. Without long ages of time the earth is very young.
ii. If the earth is very young evolution has not occurred
because there isn’t enough time.
iii. If evolution has not occurred then there are
unavoidable teleological and theological
implications.
c. Uniformitarianism, and modern geology which uses this
principle as a foundation, are based upon an un-provable,
philosophical desire to have the long ages of time necessary
for evolution.
Sir Charles Lyell developed uniformitarianism based on an unprovable
and unobservable assumption
a. Sir Charles Lyell constructed uniformitarianism concepts in
conjunction with the idea that organisms took long ages to
reach their present form.
“Lyell, Sir Charles – Building on the pioneering work of the 18th-century Scottish geologist James
Hutton, Lyell developed the theory of uniformitarianism… Uniformitarianism contradicted the
theory of catastrophism, which was popular among scientists of Lyell's time. Catastrophism claimed
that only major catastrophes could change the basic formation of the earth, and that the earth was only
about 6000 years old…Lyell is also considered one of the founders of stratigraphy, the study of the layers
of the earth's surface. He developed a method for classifying strata, or layers, by studying ancient marine
beds in western Europe. Lyell observed that the marine beds closest to the surface, therefore the most
recent, contained many species of shell-bearing mollusks that still live in today's seas. On the other
hand, deeper, older strata contained fewer and fewer fossils of living species. Lyell divided the rocks
of this period into three epochs, based on decreasing percentages of modern species. The names he
227
proposed-Eocene, Miocene, and Pliocene-are still used today.” – "Lyell, Sir Charles," Microsoft®
Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
b.
Lyell “needed a longer time scale” if his view that “geologic
change was incremental and gradual…was to work.”
“Continental landform, Historical survey, Landform theories of the 18th and 19th centuries,
Uniformitarianism – The Huttonian proposal that the Earth has largely achieved its present form
through the past occurrence of processes still in operation has come to be known as the doctrine of
uniformitarianism...Uniformitarianism also became the working principle for a growing number of
geologic historians, notably William Smith and Sir Charles Lyell, in the 19th century. This was
necessary as Lyell argued increasingly that geologic change was incremental and gradual. He needed
a longer time scale if this approach was to work, and geologic historians were finding it for him.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
7.
Conclusions about Uniformitarian
a. Both in terms of how it originated historically and even
present practice, uniformitarianism begins simply with the
desire for the earth to be very, very old.
b. The formation of geologic features by uniformitarianism
remains an indefensible, un-proven, un-provable, undeducible, and un-observable assumption based upon mere
philosophical preference
v. Catastrophism is the only view that is actually observable.
1. An obseravation and real example of catastrophism – Mount St.
Helens…
a. Provides an excellent example in which rapid, large-scale
geologic feature formation has been directly observed
b. Occurred and was observed in the last half of the twentieth
century.
c. (Other examples of catastrophism will be included in the last
section of this article series, a closing list of all the evidences.)
2. Comparing Catastrophism and Uniformitarianism
a. On observation
i. Uniformitarianism is an unobserved, unobservable,
un-provable philosophical preference competing with
another view
ii. Catastrophism, is observable, has been observed, and
therefore is actual empirical science, not just a mere
preferencial assumption.
b. On being scientific
i. Catastrophism is clearly the more scientific because it
is based upon observation rather than presupposition.
ii. Uniformitarians is based on philosophical preference
and assumption, cannot be observed, and cannot be
tested or proven.
vi. Uniformitarianism contradicts its own base assumption.
1. There is so much direct, observational evidence for catastrophism that
modern geologic science and uniformitarianism actually admit that
catastrophe does form major geologic features.
2. Catastrophe is acknowledged as having a place within modern
uniformitarian theory, but Charles Lyell rejected any significant role
for catastrophes at any point in history.
a. Lyell argued that violent geologic events only occur at the rate
and significance that they do at present, never at a greater or
more significant rate than the present.
228
i. Notice the second to last sentence of the quote below
specifically states that, according to Lyell, the surface
features of the Earth are not altered by even
“occasional cataclysmic phenomena” but are entirely
the product of small, gradual changes.
“Geochronology, Lyell's promulgation of uniformitarianism – Lyell, however, imposed some
conditions on uniformitarianism that perhaps had not been intended by Hutton: he took a literal
approach to interpreting the principle of uniformity in nature by assuming that all past events must
have conformed to controls exerted by processes that behaved in the same manner as those processes
behave today. No accommodation was made for past conditions that do not have modern
counterparts. In short, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and other violent geologic events may indeed
have occurred earlier in Earth history but no more frequently nor with greater intensity than today;
accordingly, the surface features of the Earth are altered very gradually by a series of small changes
rather than by occasional cataclysmic phenomena. Lyell's contribution enabled the doctrine of
uniformitarianism to finally hold sway, even though it did impose for the time being a somewhat
limiting condition on the uniformity principle.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
Modern geology and modern uniformitarianism reject Lyell’s
“extreme” position that violent geologic events (such as
massive volcanic activity, asteroids and meteorites, and
floods) only happened at their current rates and significance.
Modern geology and modern uniformitarianism acknowledge that …
a. Catastrophes not only play a minor role today at their current
rates and size
b. At particular points in earth’s history, catastrophes may have
played an even larger and more significant role.
c. (Despite these acknowledgements, uniformitarian processes
are maintained as the major cause of the bulk of earth’s
geologic features.)
b.
3.
“Continental landform, Historical survey, Landform theories of the 18th and 19th centuries,
Gradualism – Lyell's almost total rejection of any geologic process that was abrupt and suggestive of
catastrophe, however, was in itself an extreme posture. Research has shown that both gradual and
rapid changes occur.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Continental landform, Landform theories of the 18th and 19th centuries, Catastrophism – During
the late 18th and early 19th century, the leading proponent of this view was the German mineralogist
Abraham Gottlob Werner. According to Werner, all of the Earth's rocks were formed by rapid chemical
precipitation from a “world ocean,” which he then summarily disposed of in catastrophic fashion. Though
not directed toward the genesis of landforms in any coherent fashion, his catastrophic philosophy of
changes of the Earth had two major consequences of geomorphic significance. First, it indirectly led
to the formulation of an opposing, less extreme view by the Scottish scientist James Hutton in 1785.
Second, it was in some measure correct: catastrophes do occur on the Earth and they do change its
landforms. Asteroid impacts, Krakatoa-type volcanic explosions, hurricanes, floods, and tectonic
erosion of mountain systems all occur, may be catastrophic, and can create and destroy landforms.
Yet, not all change is catastrophic.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
4.
Floods, volcanic explosions, and asteroid impacts are all acknowledged
as a factor in forming earth’s geologic features (by Hutton and
uniformitarian scientists since Lyell.)
a. The phrase “not all change is catastrophic” is a clear
acknowledgement that some change is caused by catastrophe.
b. Uniformitarianism can include “past catastrophes” such as
“floods or earthquakes” that effected earth’s geologic features
and history.
229
“Geology, II GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY, C Uniformitarianism – Uniformitarianism
contrasts with, for example, the idea that past events such as floods or earthquakes were caused by
divine intervention or supernatural causes. Catastrophism, which calls on major catastrophes to
explain earth's history, is also sometimes contrasted with uniformitarianism. However,
uniformitarianism can include past catastrophes.” – "Geology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99.
© 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
vii. Maintaining equity in evaluating uniformitarianism and catastrophism in relation
to their claims and observed evidence
1. Important questions and equity
a. Why is it acceptable for uniformitarianism to accommodate a
minor role for catastrophes, but catastrophism is not allowed
to accommodate a minor role for normal, slow processes?
i. Catastrophes (even at their current rates) are
accommodated with a minor role in uniformitarian
theory.
1. The last line of the quote above states,
“uniformitarianism can include past
catastrophes.”
b. Why is it that the mere occurrence of normal processes
eroding and changing features to a small degree very slowly is
thought to disprove that catastrophes are the cause of major
feature formation?
c. Why does the observation of the extremely minor effects of
processes like erosion necessarily contradict the theory that
features are formed by catastrophe?
d. Can’t catastrophism accommodate a very minor role for
normal processes in minutely affecting geologic features after
their formation by major catastrophes?
2. The minor impacts of slow, gradual processes do not in anyway
contradict catastrophism
a. Catastrophism fully recognizes the actual, minor role that we
observe these slow processes playing, a role that slightly alters
existing features but does not form them.
b. And that is all that we see this slow, normative processes
doing.
3. The difference between the 2 views is a question of percentage (or
proportion) – which one better fits what can actually be observed?
a. Which one, uniformitarianism or catastrophism, is a more
reasonable conclusion based upon what we actually see?
i. Are major features being formed by slow, normal
processes but once in a while catastrophes change
existing features that were already formed by normal,
slow processes?
ii. Or, are major features being formed by catastrophes
but afterward normal, slow processes have a minor
impact on those existing features that were formed by
catastrophes?
4. The actual observations pose a problem for uniformitarianism because
normal, slow processes can only, even in principle, be observed having
minor effects on existing major structures.
a. Slow processes have never been seen producing major
features.
b. Major features have only been seen formed by catastrophes.
230
5.
This is a geological parallel to biological evolution where small
variations within a species have been observed but no one has ever
observed the emergence of a new kind of animal.
a. On both issues, creationism is simply an assertion of what we
can and do actually observe.
i. We never see new types of organisms being
reproduced from an existing type.
1. Even if true that process would take too long
for us to detect or observe it.
ii. We never see geologic features being formed from
slow, gradual, normative processes.
1. Even if true that process would take too long
for us to observe.
iii. What we have seen is nothing more and nothing less
that what creation theory asserts…
1. each type of organism only produces its own
type
2. geologic features only form from
catastrophes.
6. It is uniformitarianism and biological evolution that fill in gaps, going
beyond the empirical evidence and what is observed to insist that
speculations we can never observe are “proven” to be scientifically true
not because of scientific observation, but because of mere philosophical
preferences such as a desire to avoid teleology.
viii. Exactly how “minor” is the role of catastrophe even in uniformitarianism?
1. In uniformitarianism catastrophes are acknowledged as having a much
larger and significant role during the very earliest history of the earth
(and at particular points since then) than they do now.
a. Massive volcanic activity, asteroids and meteors, and floods
are all acknowledged by modern uniformitarians to have
occurred at greater, more significant rates at particular points
in the past than they do today and, consequently, to have
played a greater role in geologic feature formation at that time.
2. Uniformitarianism claims major volcanic activity had a significantly
larger role in the past than their counterpart processes today.
a. Uniformitarianism asserts that all the earth’s features can be
accounted for in terms of assuming the same slow processes
occurred in the past in the same manner that they do today.
b. However, within the uniformitarian, evolutionary worldview,
the earliest stages of earth’s history assert that there was much
greater volcanic activity and that this increased activity was
crucial to the formation of the earth’s geology.
i. Volcanic activity was much greater before the
Proterozoic era, which started about 2.5 billion years
ago and has been “much less” since then.
“Earth, geologic history of, Development of the atmosphere and oceans, Development of the oceans –
The abundance of volcanic rocks of Archean age (3.8 to 2.5 billion years ago) is indicative of the
continuing role of intense volcanic degassing, but since the early Proterozoic (from 2.5 billion years
ago), much less volcanic activity has occurred.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
ii. Basics about volcanic phenomena establish the truly
catastrophic nature of having an extensive increase in
volcanic activity
231
1.
Lava is “poured out” onto the earth’s surface
between approximately 700 to 1,200 degrees
Celcius (1,300 to 2,200 degress Fahrenheit).
“Lava – magma (molten rock) poured out onto the Earth's surface at temperatures from about 700°
to 1,200° C (1,300° to 2,200° F).” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
Although the top surface of the crust is comprised of “a very thin veneer” of sedimentary rock, igneous
rocks are the predominant form of rock that comprises the Earth.
“Igneous rock – any of various crystalline or glassy rocks formed by the cooling and solidification of
molten earth material. Igneous rocks comprise one of the three principal classes of rocks, the others being
metamorphic and sedimentary. Igneous rocks are formed from the solidification of magma, which is a
hot (600° to 1,300° C, or 1,100° to 2,400° F) molten or partially molten rock material. The Earth is
composed predominantly of a large mass of igneous rock with a very thin veneer of weathered
material—namely, sedimentary rock.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
2.
c.
d.
Such an increase would certainly be
catastrophic, as it certainly would be
regarded if an increase of this magnitute (or
even a mere fraction of it) occurred today.
The increased volcanic activity in the earth’s past is said to
have played a major role in the large-scale formation of
igneous rocks (rocks formed by lava) and also iron rock
formations.
i. Not only is the increase significant but the role of that
increase is extremely significant.
It is necessary for volcanic activity and the depositing of lava
to be so much more “extensive” during the earliest earth
history in order for biological evolution to occur.
i. In fact, these events are said to have occured in a
large enough quantity to allow life to “bloom” on
earth when beforehand it could only have occurred to
a narrow, small degree.
“Earth, geologic history of, Development of the atmosphere and oceans, Formation of the secondary
atmosphere – Primitive organisms, such as blue-green algae (or cyanobacteria), cause carbon dioxide
and water to react by photosynthesis to produce carbohydrates, which they need for growth, repair, and
other vital functions, and this reaction releases free oxygen…What happened to all the oxygen that
was released? It might be surprising to learn that it took at least 1 billion years before there was sufficient
oxygen in the atmosphere for oxidative diagenesis to give rise to red beds (sandstones that are
predominantly red in colour due to fully oxidized iron coating individual grains) and that 2.2 billion years
passed before a large number of life-forms could evolve. An idea formulated by the American
paleontologist Preston Cloud has been widely accepted as an answer to this question. The earliest
primitive organisms produced free oxygen as a by-product, and in the absence of oxygen-mediating
enzymes it was harmful to their living cells and had to be removed. Fortunately for the development of
life on the early Earth there was extensive volcanic activity, which resulted in the deposition of much
lava, the erosion of which released enormous quantities of iron into the oceans. This ferrous iron is
water-soluble and therefore could be easily transported, but it had to be converted to ferric iron, which is
highly insoluble, before it could be precipitated as iron formations. In short, the organisms produced the
oxygen and the iron formations accepted it. Iron formations can be found in the earliest sediments (those
deposited 3.8 billion years ago) at Isua in West Greenland, and thus this process must have been operative
by this time.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
e.
The acknowledged role for volcanoes constitutes another
major contradiction of uniformitarianism.
232
i. Uniformitarianism asserts that all the earth’s features
can be accounted for in terms of assuming the same
slow processes occurred in the past in the same
manner that they do today.
“Geochronology, Development of radioactive dating methods and their application, Early attempts at
calculating the age of the Earth – As previously noted, fundamental to the principle was the premise
that various Earth processes of the past operated in much the same way as those processes operate
today. The corollary to this was that the rates of the various ancient processes could be considered
the same as those of the present day.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Hutton, James – Hutton's view as stated in these papers was that the world's geologic phenomena can
be explained in terms of observable processes, and that those processes now at work on and within
the Earth have operated with general uniformity over immensely long periods of time.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Uniformitarianism – in geology, the doctrine that existing processes acting in the same manner and
with essentially the same intensity as at present are sufficient to account for all geologic change.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
ii. The uniformitarian, evolutionary worldview breaks
from its defining assumption by describing a role for
volcanoes that is remarkably different than the
present rate and role of volcanic processes.
1. Uniformity is discarded in terms of…
a. the amount of volcanic activity
b. the nature or type of volcanic
activity.
2. Even the “component gases” emitted by the
volcanoes of the past is asserted to have
been different than in modern volcanic
processes.
3. Effectively, geology is inventing a level of
volcanic activity and a type of volcanic
activity that has no counterpart in the
present, normative volcanic processes that
we observe today.
“Earth, geologic history of, Development of the atmosphere and oceans, Formation of the secondary
atmosphere – The Earth's secondary atmosphere began to develop at the time of planetary
differentiation, probably in connection with volcanic activity. Its component gases, however, were
most likely very different from those emitted by modern volcanoes.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004
Deluxe Edition
f.
Summary on uniformitarianism’s contradictory role for
catastrophy
i. Uniformitarianism sets aside its defining principle of
“uniformity” whenever it is necessary and whenever
it suits evolutionary theory, particularly when setting
it aside is necessary for biological evolution to occur.
1. According to uniformitarianism, you have
much more massive and extensive volcanic
activity and lava deposits during earlier eras
than occur now.
233
2.
3.
This much more extensive volcanic activity
also had different component gases than
today’s volcanoes.
ii. Not only is uniformitarianism an un-provable
philosophical preference, but its one that adherents to
uniformitarianism themselves show to be incorrect by
discarding and contradicting it.
Uniformitarianism claims meteorite and asteroid impacts had a
significantly larger role in the past than their counterpart processes
today.
a. “studies of the moon” have actually demonstrated how
“meteorite impacts helped shape the Earth’s surface” during
its early history, around “3.5 billion years ago” causing “a
violent infancy” for the planet, which lasted for “hundreds of
millions of years.”
i. The catastrophic nature of this increase become clear
when we consider how such an increase in meteorite
bombardment (or even just a fragment of it) would be
considered catastrophic today.
“Geology, History, Geology of the solar system – Geologists also apply what they have learned about
other objects to the study of Earth. For instance, studies of the moon showed how meteorite impacts
helped shape Earth's surface.” Worldbook, Contributor: Maria Luisa Crawford, Ph.D., Professor of
Geology, Bryn Mawr College.
“The Primeval Biosphere, Figure 11. The primeval biosphere awoke to a tempestuous world of
intermittent comet impacts, a steaming-hot ocean, a very thick atmosphere and torrential acid rains.
Giant comet impacts would have ejected large amounts of material into space and spun off violent
hurricanes and tornadoes.” – An Argument for the Cometary Origin of the Biosphere, Armand H.
Delsemme, American Scientists, Volume 89, 2004
“The Primeval Biosphere – About 3.5 billion years ago large cometary impacts would have become
increasingly rare, but when they did occur, they produced enormous cataclysms. The oceans would
have boiled near the impact site, causing hurricanes and gigantic waterspouts with fantastic ejections
of gas and water into space. Under these chaotic and seemingly inhospitable conditions, a phenomenon
occurs that is going to have astonishing consequences: Bacteria begin to multiply in the hot waters of the
first oceans.” – An Argument for the Cometary Origin of the Biosphere, Armand H. Delsemme, American
Scientists, Volume 89, 2004
“Astronomers and geologists were discovering that Earth had a violent infancy--hundreds of millions
of years after the planet had formed, giant asteroids and comets still crashed into it, burning off its
young atmosphere and boiling away its oceans…After the last atmosphere-killing impacts--about 4
billion years ago--smaller comets, meteorites, and dust from space could, in the space of a few hundred
million years, have brought enough organic carbon to cover the planet in a layer ten inches deep.” – First
Cell, by Carl Zimmer, DISCOVER, Vol. 16 No. 11, November 1995, Biology & Medicine
“Earth, geologic history of, The pregeologic period – The history of the Earth spans approximately 4.6
billion years. The oldest known rocks, however, have an isotopic age of only about 3.9 billion years.
There is, in effect, a stretch of 700 million years for which no geologic record exists, and the evolution of
this pregeologic period of time is not surprisingly the subject of much speculation. To understand this littleknown period, the following factors have to be considered: the age of formation at 4.6 billion years ago, the
processes in operation until 3.9 billion years ago, the bombardment of the Earth by meteorites, and
the earliest zircon crystals…It is known from direct observation that the surface of the Moon is covered
with a multitude of meteorite craters. There are about 40 large basins attributable to meteorite
impact. Known as maria, these depressions were filled in with basaltic lavas caused by the impact-induced
melting of the lunar mantle. Many of these basalts have been analyzed isotopically and found to have
234
crystallization ages of 3.9 to 4 billion years. It can be safely concluded that the Earth, with a greater
attractive mass than the Moon, must have undergone more extensive meteorite bombardment.
According to the English-born geologist Joseph V. Smith, a minimum of 500 to 1,000 impact basins
were formed on the Earth within a period of about 100 to 200 million years prior to 3.95 billion years
ago. Moreover, plausible calculations suggest that this estimate represents merely the tail end of an
interval of declining meteorite bombardment and that about 20 times as many basins were formed in
the preceding 300 million years. Such intense bombardment would have covered most of the Earth's
surface, with the impacts causing considerable destruction of the terrestrial crust up to 3.9 billion
years ago. There is, however, no direct evidence of this important phase of Earth history because rocks
older than 3.9 billion years have not been preserved.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Although about 100 times as many asteroids as comets approach Earth, comets pack a bigger punch—
they plunge toward the sun several times faster than asteroids. That means a comet could hit Earth with
about 10 times as much energy as an asteroid with the same mass…In 1994 Jupiter's gravity
shredded comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 into 21 visible chunks, which then plunged into the gas giant piece
after piece. A typical piece detonated with the force of about 25,000 megatons of TNT. A chain of
blasts around Earth might wreak more havoc than a single impact.” – To Catch a Comet, by Robert
Irion, DISCOVER, Vol. 24 No. 10, October 2003
“Chemical Evidence – The separation of these layers dates to the earliest period of the Earth’s formation,
when it was still accumulating mass by the accretion of planetesimals. The energy of the accretionary
impacts was transformed into a heat so intense that Earth’s surface was covered with a thick layer of
molten lava, perhaps to very great depths.” – An Argument for the Cometary Origin of the Biosphere,
Armand H. Delsemme, American Scientists, Volume 89, 2004
“Meteorite – Meteorites generally have a pitted surface and fused charred crust. The larger ones strike
the earth with tremendous impact, creating huge craters…The meteorites that formed craters as large
as the ones in Vredefort, Sudbury, and the Yucatán must have had a devastating effect on the nearby
environment, and they also probably affected global weather patterns. The force of collision would
have spewed molten rock far around the impact site. Dust and poisonous gases that were produced
by the crash when it vaporized minerals in the ground would have darkened the sky over a huge area
for months or even years. Many scientists believe that the event that caused the crater in the Yucatán
Peninsula may have created global climate changes that led to the extinction of the last of the
dinosaurs…Dust and gas circulating in the atmosphere could cut off sunlight for months, killing crops
and reducing the food supply for the entire world. Fortunately, astronomers calculate the average frequency
of major collisions at only about one collision every 300,000 years. ” – "Meteorite," Microsoft® Encarta®
Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
4.
Uniformitarianism relies on major catastrophic volcanic activity and
asteroid impacts throughout earth’s history to explain the geologic and
biological history of the earth.
a. The Permean Period
i. In geologic time, the Permean Period is relatively
recent compared to 3.5 billion years ago.
ii. The Permean Period spans from 286 to 245 million
years ago.
“Permian period – last period of the Paleozoic Era. It began about 286 million years ago and ended 245
million years ago, extending from the close of the Carboniferous to the outset of the Triassic.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
iii. During the Permean Period around 250 million years
ago volcanic activity in Siberia is asserted to have
increased so massively that it caused the greatest
global extinction in the history of the earth.
235
“Earth, History of Earth – Several times in Earth's history, there have been great extinctions, periods
when many of Earth's living things die out. The greatest of these events, called the Permian
extinction, happened about 250 million years ago. Almost 90 percent of the species on Earth during
the Permian became extinct in a relatively short time. The cause of this event is a mystery, though
many scientists suspect that huge volcanic eruptions in what is now Siberia may have disturbed the
climate, causing many organisms to die out.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
b.
iv. Such a massive rise in volcanic activity effecting “a
relatively short time” in geologic history constitutes a
significant departure from uniformitarianism.
The Cretaceous Period
i. After the Permian Period, there is another extinction
involving the dinosaurs near the end of the
Cretaceous Period.
ii. The Cretaceous Period was about 65 million years
ago.
iii. This extinction is largely believed to have been
caused by an asteroid impact in the Yucatan
peninsula of North America, which would have had
enormous effects on climates and the surface features
of the earth.
iv. This asteroid impact and its timing are regarded as
fact even it did not singularly cause the extinction of
dinosaurs.
1. This massive impact is attested to by other
means and is not simply a hypothetical for
explaining the extinction of the dinosaurs.
v. Concerning the extinction of the dinosaurs, a
significant increase in volcanic activity is also listed
as an alternate or auxiliary explanation.
vi. Both the volcanic activity and the asteroid impact in
the Cretaceous Period constitute a major departure
from uniformitarianism’s view that all the earth’s
features can be accounted for in terms of assuming
the same slow processes occurred in the past in the
same manner that they do today.
“Dinosaurs, The search for dinosaurs, The K–T boundary event – It was not only the dinosaurs that
disappeared 65 million years ago at the Cretaceous–Tertiary, or K–T, boundary. Many other
organisms became extinct or were greatly reduced in abundance and diversity, and the extinctions
were quite different between, and even among, marine and terrestrial organisms…Whatever factors
caused it, there was undeniably a major, worldwide biotic change near the end of the Cretaceous. But
the extermination of the dinosaurs is the best-known change by far, and it has been a puzzle to
paleontologists, geologists, and biologists for two centuries. Many hypotheses have been offered over the
years to explain dinosaur extinction, but only a few have received serious consideration. Proposed
causes have included everything from disease to heat waves and resulting sterility, freezing cold spells, the
rise of egg-eating mammals, and X rays from a nearby exploding supernova. Since the early 1980s,
attention has focused on the so-called asteroid theory put forward by the American geologist Walter
Alvarez, his father, physicist Luis Alvarez, and their coworkers. This theory is consistent with the
timing and magnitude of some extinctions, especially in the oceans, but it does not fully explain the
patterns on land and does not eliminate the possibility that other factors were at work on land as well as in
the seas…The asteroid theory – The discovery of an abnormally high concentration of the rare metal
iridium at, or very close to, the K–T boundary provides what has been recognized as one of those
rare instantaneous geologic time markers that seem to be worldwide. This iridium anomaly, or spike,
was first found by Walter Alvarez in the Cretaceous–Tertiary stratigraphic sequence at Gubbio, Italy, in the
1970s. The spike has subsequently been detected at hundreds of localities in Denmark and elsewhere, both
236
in rock outcrops on land and in core samples drilled from ocean floors…Because the levels of iridium are
higher in meteorites than on the Earth, the Gubbio anomaly is thought to have an extraterrestrial
explanation…The level of iridium in meteorites has been accepted as representing the average level
throughout the solar system and, by extension, the universe. Accordingly, the iridium concentration at
the K–T boundary is widely attributed to a collision between the Earth and a huge meteoror asteroid.
The size of the object is estimated at about 10 km (6.2 miles) in diameter and one quadrillion metric
tons in weight; the velocity at the time of impact is reckoned to have been several hundreds of
thousands of kilometres per hour. The crater resulting from such a collision would be some 100 km
or more in diameter. Such an impact site (called an astrobleme), known as the Chicxulub crater, may
have been identified in the Yucatán Peninsula. The asteroid theory is widely accepted as the most
probable explanation of the K–T iridium anomaly, but it does not appear to account for all the
paleontological data. An impact explosion of this kind would have ejected an enormous volume of
terrestrial and asteroid material into the atmosphere, producing a cloud of dust and solid particles
that would have encircled the Earth and blocked out sunlight for many months, possibly years. The
loss of sunlight could have eliminated photosynthesis and resulted in the death of plants and the
subsequent extinction of herbivores, their predators, and scavengers. The K–T mass extinctions,
however, do not seem to be fully explained by this hypothesis…It is entirely possible that a
culmination of ordinary biological changes and some catastrophic events, including increased
volcanic activity, took place around the end of the Cretaceous.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004
Deluxe Edition
“Dinosaur, VII EXTINCTION, Controversy surrounds the extinction of the dinosaurs – According to
one theory, dinosaurs were slowly driven to extinction by environmental changes linked to the gradual
withdrawal of shallow seas from the continents at the end of the dinosaurian era. Proponents of this theory
postulate that dinosaurs dwindled in number and variety over several million years. An opposing theory
proposes that the impact of an asteroid or comet caused catastrophic destruction of the environment,
leading to the extinction of the dinosaurs. Evidence to support this theory includes the discovery of a
buried impact crater (thought to be the result of a large comet striking the earth) that is 200 km (124 mi)
in diameter in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. A spray of debris, called an ejecta sheet, which was
blown from the edge of the crater, has been found over vast regions of North America. Cometenriched material from the impact's fiery explosion was distributed all over the world. With
radiometric dating (see Dating Methods: Radiometric Dating), scientists have used the decay rates of
certain atoms to date the crater, ejecta sheet, and fireball layer. Using similar techniques to date the
dramatic changes in the record of microscopic fossils, they have found that the impact and the
dinosaur extinction occurred nearly simultaneously. Although large amounts of ash suggest that most
of North and South America was devastated by fire from the impact, the longer-term planetwide
environmental effects of the impact were ultimately more lethal to life than the fire. Dust blocked
sunlight from the earth's surface for many months. Scorched sulfur from the impact site, water vapor
and chlorine from the oceans, and nitrogen from the air combined to produce a worldwide fallout of
intensely acidic rain. Scientists postulate that darkness and acid rain caused plant growth to cease. As a
result, both the herbivorous dinosaurs, which were dependent on plants for food, as well as the carnivorous
dinosaurs, which fed on the herbivores, were exterminated. On the other hand, animals such as frogs,
lizards, and small insect-eating turtles and mammals, which were dependent on organisms that fed on
decaying plant material, were more likely to survive. Their survival indicates that, in most areas, the
surface of the earth did not freeze.” – "Dinosaur," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998
Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Dinosaur, Why dinosaurs died out – Scientists have developed many theories to explain dinosaur
extinction. The two major theories involve (1) gradual climate changes and (2) the collision of an
asteroid with the earth. The first theory argues that, toward the end of the Cretaceous Period, the shallow
seas dried up and the climate became more varied everywhere around the globe. Winters became too
cold and summers too hot for dinosaurs to survive. Dinosaurs were too large to hibernate in dens, and
they had no fur or feathers for protection against the cold. They also probably had difficulty cooling off in
hot weather. Thus, death and extinction came as a result of gradually colder winters and hotter
summers. The other major extinction theory claims that a large asteroid hit the earth at the end of
the Cretaceous. This asteroid impact would have thrown billions of tons of dust and debris into the
237
atmosphere. Heat from the impact may have caused huge fires worldwide. Together the clouds of
smoke and debris would have blocked sunlight from reaching the surface of the earth for many
months. Although the seeds and roots of plants had a good chance of surviving this lightless period, the
plants themselves stopped growing and died. If the catastrophe was severe and widespread enough, planteating dinosaurs would have starved to death. As the plant-eaters died, so did the meat-eating dinosaurs that
fed on them. In addition, the darkened skies caused land temperatures to drop below freezing for 6 to
12 months in many parts of the world. Such low temperatures further damaged the dinosaur populations.
According to the asteroid theory, small mammals and birds survived because they were protected from the
cold by fur or feathers. Mammals and birds also could feed entirely on seeds, nuts, and rotting vegetation.
Other survivors may have escaped extinction because they could live at the bottom of lakes or burrow
underground. Most scientists, however, feel that no single theory completely explains why dinosaurs
suffered extinction. They argue that a combination of causes contributed to the dinosaurs'
disappearance.” – Worldbook, Contributor: David B. Weishampel, Ph.D., Professor, Johns Hopkins
University School of Medicine.
“Meteorite – Meteorites generally have a pitted surface and fused charred crust. The larger ones strike
the earth with tremendous impact, creating huge craters…The meteorites that formed craters as large
as the ones in Vredefort, Sudbury, and the Yucatán must have had a devastating effect on the nearby
environment, and they also probably affected global weather patterns. The force of collision would
have spewed molten rock far around the impact site. Dust and poisonous gases that were produced
by the crash when it vaporized minerals in the ground would have darkened the sky over a huge area
for months or even years. Many scientists believe that the event that caused the crater in the Yucatán
Peninsula may have created global climate changes that led to the extinction of the last of the
dinosaurs…Dust and gas circulating in the atmosphere could cut off sunlight for months, killing crops
and reducing the food supply for the entire world. Fortunately, astronomers calculate the average frequency
of major collisions at only about one collision every 300,000 years. ” – "Meteorite," Microsoft® Encarta®
Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
5.
Conclusions on uniformitarianism and the role of catastrophes.
a. The uniformitarian view is not only an assumption, but it is a
view that contradicts its main assumption.
b. Uniformitarianism is shown to be scientifically less valid than
catastrophism for 2 reasons.
i. First, uniformitarianism cannot be observed whereas
catastrophism has been observed, as we will see in
our next section.
ii. Second, uniformitarianism contradicts itself and does
so in a way that affirms the dramatic role of unique
catastrophes that have no counterpart in present,
slow, normative processes.
c. Furthermore, since uniformitarianism ends up actually
asserting catastrophism, the only differences between the
Biblical catastrophism model and evolutionary theory are…
i. When, or how long ago, the catastrophic period
occurred and what types of activities it included?
ii. Was the catastrophe billions of years ago, or was the
catastrophe only a few thousand years ago?
d. The potential interaction between both a cataclysmic event,
such as an asteroid impact, and a climate change to cause the
extinction of the dinosaurs makes the Biblical model all the
more plausible (especially if the Flood was triggered in part,
either directly or indirectly, by a meteor or asteroid collision).
e. Given evolution’s insistence upon uniformitarianism as the
primary mechanism for geologic feature formation and the
rejection of catastrophism is shown to be meaningless
nonsense due to…
238
f.
g.
i. Acknowledgement of the contributions of violent
catastrophic early stages in earth’s history
ii. Major departures from uniformitarianism in terms of
volcanoes and meteors at particular instances since
the earliest times,
iii. Acknowledgement of the minor role that catastrophes
of this kind continue to play at their present rates and
magnitudes
iv. The acknowledgement that catastrophes simply do
play the role that catastrophism theory and
creationism ascribes to them.
With all of these acknowledgements within uniformitarianism
of catastrophic causes for the major formation of earth’s
features in the past it seems that uniformitarianism is really
just an biased, disguised, denial of a global flood as recorded
in the Bible in order to avoid the teleological and theological
implications of the Biblical account.
In our next segment we will cover how uniformitarianism is
contradicted by the evidence for the particular catastrophe of a
global Flood.
239
XVI. Focus on Critical Evidence: Evidence for a Global Flood
A. Review on Uniformitarianism and Catastrophism
i. In our previous segment, we established from secular and evolutionary sources
that the catastrophism view of geologic history is undeniable and actually
affirmed by the alternative uniformitarian view.
1. With catastrophism as acknowledged fact even within the
uniformitarian view, the historical accounts of a catastrophic worldwide
flood become extremely relevant.
ii. Judeo-Christian tradition teaches there was a global flood was global (not
regional or even almost global.)
1. However, in order to facilitate considering the question of a massive
flood without first accepting the Biblical account wholesale, the term
“nearly-global” flood is also used below.
B. Key questions about a global or near-global flood
i. Why isn’t a global or near-global flood accepted within uniformitarian geology?
ii. Is a global Flood with a mass extinction incompatible and unacceptable within
uniformitarian geologic principles?
iii. Does accepting a global Flood require accepting or believing in God?
iv. Is there simply no evidence or not enough evidence to support or suggest a
global or near-global Flood?
C. A global flood – answering the key questions.
i. First, a global or near-global flood with a mass extinction is not incompatible or
unacceptable within uniformitarian principles.
1. This fact is demonstrated by 3 cases of precedent for what is already
accepted within uniformitarianism.
a. Number one, the role of major catastrophes such as volcanic
activity, asteroids and meteorites, hurricanes, and floods in
shaping geologic features is already accepted within
uniformitarianism so, there is nothing within
uniformitarianism that prevents the acceptance of a global or
near-global flood.
i. Charles Lyell took an extreme position that made “no
accommodation” for “past conditions or events,
which do not have modern counterparts.”
1. Lyell’s “extreme” position acknowledged a
role for catastrophic events, only if they did
not exceed what we see today.
“Geochronology, Lyell's promulgation of uniformitarianism – Lyell, however, imposed some
conditions on uniformitarianism that perhaps had not been intended by Hutton: he took a literal
approach to interpreting the principle of uniformity in nature by assuming that all past events must
have conformed to controls exerted by processes that behaved in the same manner as those processes
behave today. No accommodation was made for past conditions that do not have modern
counterparts. In short, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and other violent geologic events may indeed
have occurred earlier in Earth history but no more frequently nor with greater intensity than today;
accordingly, the surface features of the Earth are altered very gradually by a series of small changes
rather than by occasional cataclysmic phenomena. Lyell's contribution enabled the doctrine of
uniformitarianism to finally hold sway, even though it did impose for the time being a somewhat
limiting condition on the uniformity principle.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
ii. Modern uniformitarianism and modern geology
rejects Lyell’s “extreme” position that violent
geologic events (such as massive volcanic activity,
asteroids and meteorites, and floods) only happened
at their current rates and significance.
240
“Continental landform, Historical survey, Landform theories of the 18th and 19th centuries,
Gradualism – Lyell's almost total rejection of any geologic process that was abrupt and suggestive of
catastrophe, however, was in itself an extreme posture. Research has shown that both gradual and
rapid changes occur.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Continental landform, Landform theories of the 18th and 19th centuries, Catastrophism – During
the late 18th and early 19th century, the leading proponent of this view was the German mineralogist
Abraham Gottlob Werner. According to Werner, all of the Earth's rocks were formed by rapid chemical
precipitation from a “world ocean,” which he then summarily disposed of in catastrophic fashion. Though
not directed toward the genesis of landforms in any coherent fashion, his catastrophic philosophy of
changes of the Earth had two major consequences of geomorphic significance. First, it indirectly led
to the formulation of an opposing, less extreme view by the Scottish scientist James Hutton in 1785.
Second, it was in some measure correct: catastrophes do occur on the Earth and they do change its
landforms. Asteroid impacts, Krakatoa-type volcanic explosions, hurricanes, floods, and tectonic
erosion of mountain systems all occur, may be catastrophic, and can create and destroy landforms.
Yet, not all change is catastrophic.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
iii. Notice that catastrophic floods are listed side by side
with such massive events as Asteroid impacts and
“Krakatoa-type volcanic explosions.”
1. To provide some idea of the scale indicated
by the phrase “Krakatoa-type,” the quote
below states that Krakatoa is regarded as
“one of the most catastrophic in history.”
“Krakatoa – Bahasa Indonesia Krakatau volcano on Pulau (island) Rakata in the Sunda Strait
between Java and Sumatra, Indonesia. Its eruption in 1883 was one of the most catastrophic in
history.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
iv. Since uniformitarianism accepts the role of
catastrophic activities including floods, there is
nothing within uniformitarianism that prevents the
acceptance of a global or near-global flood.
“Geology, II GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY, C Uniformitarianism – Uniformitarianism
contrasts with, for example, the idea that past events such as floods or earthquakes were caused by
divine intervention or supernatural causes. Catastrophism, which calls on major catastrophes to
explain earth's history, is also sometimes contrasted with uniformitarianism. However,
uniformitarianism can include past catastrophes.” – "Geology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99.
© 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
b.
Number two, the occurrence of major extinction events caused
by huge catastrophes is already accepted within
uniformitarianism.
i. There have been numerous major extinction events in
the uniformitarian, evolutionary view.
ii. The dominant theories for these extinction events
have asserted catastrophes such as major volcanic
activity and a major asteroid impact as the causes.
“Geologic Time, I INTRODUCTION – Most boundaries in recent geologic time coincide with
periodic extinctions and appearances of new species…II DIVISION OF TIME – An explosion of
invertebrate life marks the end of the Proterozoic and the beginning of the Phanerozoic. The
Phanerozoic Eon started 570 million years before present and continues into the present…The
Phanerozoic Eon is divided into the Paleozoic (570 million to 245 million years before present),
Mesozoic (245 million to 65 million years before present), and Cenozoic (65 million years before present to
241
present) Eras. The Paleozoic Era is divided into six periods. From oldest to youngest they are the
Cambrian (570 million to 500 million years before present), Ordovician (500 million to 435 million
years before present), Silurian (435 million to 410 million years before present), Devonian (410 million to
380 million years before present), Carboniferous (380 million to 290 million years before present), and
Permian (290 million to 240 million years before present). The Paleozoic began with the appearance of
many different life-forms, which are preserved as abundant fossils in rock sequences all over the
world. It ended with the extinction of over 90 percent of all living organisms at the end of the Permian
Period. The cause of this event is currently unknown…The Mesozoic began with the appearance of
many new kinds of animals, including the dinosaurs and the ammonites, or extinct relatives of
modern squid. The Mesozoic ended with another major extinction in which about 80 percent of all
living organisms died. This extinction may have been the result of a large asteroid that crashed into the
earth on the present-day northern Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico.” – "Geologic Time," Microsoft® Encarta®
Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Dinosaurs, The search for dinosaurs, The K–T boundary event – It was not only the dinosaurs that
disappeared 65 million years ago at the Cretaceous–Tertiary, or K–T, boundary. Many other
organisms became extinct or were greatly reduced in abundance and diversity, and the extinctions
were quite different between, and even among, marine and terrestrial organisms…Whatever factors
caused it, there was undeniably a major, worldwide biotic change near the end of the
Cretaceous…The asteroid theory – The discovery of an abnormally high concentration of the rare
metal iridium at, or very close to, the K–T boundary provides what has been recognized as one of
those rare instantaneous geologic time markers that seem to be worldwide…The asteroid theory is
widely accepted as the most probable explanation of the K–T iridium anomaly, but it does not appear
to account for all the paleontological data…It is entirely possible that a culmination of ordinary
biological changes and some catastrophic events, including increased volcanic activity, took place
around the end of the Cretaceous.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Earth, History of Earth – Several times in Earth's history, there have been great extinctions, periods
when many of Earth's living things die out. The greatest of these events, called the Permian
extinction, happened about 250 million years ago. Almost 90 percent of the species on Earth during
the Permian became extinct in a relatively short time. The cause of this event is a mystery, though
many scientists suspect that huge volcanic eruptions in what is now Siberia may have disturbed the
climate, causing many organisms to die out.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
c.
iii. There is nothing in principle that prevents
uniformitarianism from accepting a global or nearglobal flood and an accompanying mass extinction
event. This is because…
1. floods are listed as catastrophes
acknowledged by uniformitarianism
2. and major catastrophes are also
acknowledged as the cause of major
extinction events within uniformitarianism.
Number three, uniformitarianism already accepts that the
world was at times nearly and even completely covered by ice,
which is simply frozen water.
i. Occasions when the entire earth was covered by ice
are referred to as “the snowball earth.”
“Earth [planet], Earth's changing climate, The ice ages – Throughout the history of Earth, the climate
has changed many times. Between 800 million and 600 million years ago, during a time called the
Precambrian, Earth experienced several extreme climate changes called ice ages or glacial epochs. The
climate grew so cold that some scientists believe Earth nearly or completely froze several times. The
theory that the entire Earth froze is sometimes called the snowball Earth. Geologists estimate that
Earth experienced up to four such periods of alternate freezing and thawing.” – Worldbook, Contributor:
242
Steven I. Dutch, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin,
Green Bay.
ii. Repetition is thought to be more in line with
uniformity than unique catastrophe is.
1. In conformity to the uniformitarian principle
in which feature-forming processes are
regular and normative, these ice ages are
made cyclical or recurring, as indicated by
both the quote above and the quotes below.
“Fossil, III WHERE FOSSILS FORM – The global climate has also changed over geological time,
alternating between periods of warmth and ice ages.” – "Fossil," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia
99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
"Atmosphere, Development of the Earth's atmosphere, Sequence of events in the development of the
atmosphere, Variation in abundance of carbon dioxide – The approximately hundredfold decline of
atmospheric CO2 abundances from 3,500,000,000 years ago to the present has apparently not been
monotonous. During that interval, numerous ice ages have come and gone.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica
2004 Deluxe Edition
iii. Geologists and evolutionists alike have accepted the
occurrence of global and near-global ice ages even
though the cause of the ice ages remains unknown.
1. Consequently, it would not be necessary for
uniformitarians, geologists, or evolutionists
to identify an exact cause for a global or
near-global flood in order to accept it.
“Earth [planet], Earth's changing climate, Why ice ages occur – Scientists do not fully understand
why Earth has ice ages.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Steven I. Dutch, Ph.D., Professor, Department of
Natural and
2.
In summary, uniformitarianism accepts and asserts the following
concepts that are all compatible in principle with the catastrophe of a
global flood.
a. Major catastrophes, including floods comparable to asteroid
impacts and Krakatoa-type volcanic eruptions are accepted
within uniformitarianism.
b. Major extinction events, which result from such catastrophes
and in which 80 to 90 percent of the species on earth were
wiped out is accepted within uniformitarianism.
c. Recurring ice ages, in which a great deal of the entire earth or
even all of the earth to the equator is covered with ice, are
accepted within uniformitarianism even though the cause of
such ice ages is not fully understood.
i. By contrast, the creationist view holds that the global
flood was a singular historical event rather than a
cyclical or recurring phenomenon.
d. The idea that the world was entirely or nearly covered with
water, resulting in a mass extinction, is not incompatible with
uniformitarianism, particularly if such floods were viewed as
cyclical or recurring.
i. Therefore, a global or nearly global Flood is
compatible with the uniformitarian view of earth
history.
243
ii. Thus, in terms of geologic principles, there are no
grounds for uniformitarians, geologists, or
evolutionists to have to reject a global or nearlyglobal flood out of hand.
3. So, if there is no geologic principle for rejecting a global or near-global
flood, what reason is there to reject such a flood?
ii. Second, accepting a global Flood does not require accepting or believing in God.
1. Restatements of this key question
a. Even if there are no geologic principles requiring a global
flood to be rejected, should a global flood should be rejected
on philosophical grounds because it requires presuming the
existence of a God?
b. Could someone accept a global flood or near-global flood
unless one first accepts the reality of divine beings?
2. Accepting a global flood simply does not require accepting the
existence of divine beings.
a. As we covered earlier in this article series, in the evolutionist,
naturalistic, and atheistic worldviews, religion is believed to
have originated as a way of explaining “natural events, such as
storms and earthquakes” by regarding such events as the will
of deities.
“Mythology – Later in the 19th century the theory of evolution put forward by English naturalist
Charles Darwin heavily influenced the study of mythology. Scholars excavated the history of
mythology, much as they would excavate fossil-bearing geological formations, for relics from the distant
past. This approach can be seen in the work of British anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor. In
Primitive Culture (1871), Tylor organized the religious and philosophical development of humanity
into separate and distinct evolutionary stages. Similarly, British anthropologist Sir James George Frazer
proposed a three-stage evolutionary scheme in The Golden Bough (3rd edition, 1912-1915). According to
Frazer's scheme, human beings first attributed natural phenomena to arbitrary supernatural forces
(magic), later explaining them as the will of the gods (religion), and finally subjecting them to
rational investigation (science).” – "Mythology," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998
Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Religion, The origin of religion – The earliest recorded evidence of religious activity dates from only
about 60,000 B.C. However, anthropologists and historians of religion believe that some form of
religion has been practiced since people first appeared on the earth about 2 million years ago.
Experts think prehistoric religions arose out of fear and wonder about natural events, such as the
occurrence of storms and earthquakes and the birth of babies and animals. To explain why someone
died, people credited supernatural powers greater than themselves or greater than the world around
them…Leading theories were developed by Edward Burnett Tylor, Friedrich Max Muller, and Rudolf
Otto.” – World Book 2005
b.
There are numerous examples from historic cultures where the
natural phenomena and natural catastrophes are attributed to
deities.
i. Thunder was attributed to thunder gods.
“Germanic religion and mythology, Mythology, The gods, Thor – Thor is a god of very different stamp.
Place-names, personal names, poetry, and prose show that he was worshiped widely, especially toward the
end of the pagan period. Thor is described as Odin's son, but his name derives from the Germanic
term for “thunder.” Like Indra and other Indo-European thunder-gods, he is essentially the champion
of the gods, being constantly involved in struggles with the giants.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004
Deluxe Edition
244
“Indra – chief of the Vedic gods of India. A warlike, typically Aryan god, he conquered innumerable
human and demon enemies, vanquished the sun, and killed the dragon Vṛtra, who had prevented the
monsoon from breaking. His weapons are lightning and the thunderbolt, and he is strengthened for these
feats by drinks of the elixir soma, the offering of the sacrifice.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe
Edition
ii. Additional “thunder gods” are also listed in the
following quotes where we see that storms were also
attributed to storm gods.
“Hadad – Ha’dad, Haddad (Phoenician, Semite, Syrian), Also known as: Adad, Addu, Aleyn-Baal, Baal,
Martu (Amorite), Rimmon. Storm God. Originally, Hadad was a Syrian deity but in cuneiform text he was
called Addu, who as a chief deity. Later, he was known as Rimmon, a thunder god of air and
storm…Hadad resembled Reseph in his thunder god guise. Some say he is identical with Balmarcodes.
See also Adad (A); Aleyn-Baal; Baal; Shaushka. – Haddad (Babylon) see Adad; Hadad.” – Dictionary of
Ancient Deities, Patricia Turner & Charles Russell Coulter, Oxford University Press, New York, New
York, Copyright 2000, p. 200-201
“Tlaloc – (Aztec People, Mexico), Also known as: Atonatiuh, Chac (Mayan), Cocijo (Zapotec), Dzaui
(Mixtec), Muye (Otomi), Nahualpilli, Tohil (Quiche of Guatemala). Tlaloc is the god of thunder, rain,
moisture, and mountains…The rain gods known as the Tlalocs are his children.” – Dictionary of
Ancient Deities, Patricia Turner & Charles Russell Coulter, Oxford University Press, New York, New
York, Copyright 2000, p. 469
“Pillan – Pilan (Araucanian People, Chile, South America), Weather god. Thunder god. After death,
tribal chiefs, assuming the form of volcanoes, were met by Pillan. Pillan’s activities cause lightning and
earthquakes.” – Dictionary of Ancient Deities, Patricia Turner & Charles Russell Coulter, Oxford
University Press, New York, New York, Copyright 2000, p. 384
“Hawaiian – The Hawaiians held a vague belief in a future existence. They had four principal gods—
Kane, Kanaloa, Ku, and Lono—and innumerable lesser gods and tutelary deities.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Lono – (Polynesia, Hawaii), God of thunder, rain and darkness. God of fertility. God of agriculture.
God of singing (in the Marquesas). One of the traid with Kane and Ku. He is associated with cloud signs
and the phenomena of storms.” – Dictionary of Ancient Deities, Patricia Turner & Charles Russell
Coulter, Oxford University Press, New York, New York, Copyright 2000, p. 294
“Syrian and Palestinian religion, Gods, mythology, and worldview, Other early gods – At 3rdmillennium Ebla the most important god was Dagan, “Lord of Gods” and “Lord of the Land.” Other gods
of Ebla included El, Resheph, the storm god, Ishtar, Athtart, Chemosh, and the sun goddess…Little is
known of the religion of the Hurrians beyond the names and general character of their chief gods: Teshub,
a storm god, and his consort Hepat; their son, Sharruma, also a storm god; the goddess Shaushka,
identified with the Mesopotamian Ishtar; and Kushukh and Shimegi, lunar and solar deities, respectively.
Hurrian mythology is known only through Hittite versions. King Idrimi of Alalakh designates himself
‘servant of the storm god; of Hepat; and of Ishtar, the Lady of Alalakh, my lady.’…Developments in the
1st millennium BC – The storm god, Hadad, appears as the chief god of the Aramaeans in northern Syria
in the 9th and 8th centuries. – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Indra – Among his allies are the Rudras (or Maruts), who ride the clouds and direct storms…” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Cizin – One aspect of the dualistic nature of the Mayan religion is symbolically portrayed in the existing
codices, which show Cizin uprooting or destroying trees planted by Chac, the rain god.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
245
“Chac – Chaac (Maya People, Yucatan), Also known as: “B” (possibly) Xib Chac. Rain god. Patron of
agriculture. Chac is analogous to the Aztec god Tlaloc. The Mayas sacrificed to Chac for rain.” –
Dictionary of Ancient Deities, Patricia Turner & Charles Russell Coulter, Oxford University Press, New
York, New York, Copyright 2000, p. 120
iii. Volcanic eruptions and volcanic activity were
attributed to volcano gods.
“Volcano – People have always been both fascinated by the spectacle of volcanic eruptions and
terrified of their power. Eruptions have caused some of the worst disasters in history, wiping out entire
towns and killing thousands of people. In early times, volcanoes played a role in the religious life of
some peoples. The word volcano, for example, comes from Vulcan, the name the ancient Romans
gave to their god of fire. The Romans believed the god lived beneath a volcanic island off the Italian
coast. They called the island Vulcano.” – Contributor: David I. Kertzer, Ph.D., Paul Dupee University
Professor of Social Science and Professor of Anthropology and Italian Studies, Brown University.
“Vulcan – in Roman religion, god of fire, particularly in its destructive aspects as volcanoes or
conflagrations. Poetically, he is given all the attributes of the Greek Hephaestus (q.v.). His worship was
very ancient, and at Rome he had his own priest (flamen). His chief festival, the Volcanalia, was held on
August 23 and was marked by a rite of unknown significance: the heads of Roman families threw small
fish into the fire.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Vulcano Island – southernmost island of the Lipari Islands (Isole Eolie), in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off
northern Sicily, in Italy. Vulcano Island contains several volcanoes, including Gran Cratere, or Fossa
Vecchio, which is still active…According to classical mythology, the forges of Vulcan, the god of fire,
were on one of these volcanoes.” – "Vulcano Island," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 19931998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Vulcan – (Latin Volcanus), in Roman mythology, the god of fire. Originally an old Italian deity who
seems to have been associated with volcanic fire, Vulcan was identified with the Greek god
Hephaestus in classical times. At Rome his festival, the Volcanalia, was celebrated on August 23. He was
particularly revered at Ostia, where his was the principal cult.” – "Vulcan," Microsoft® Encarta®
Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Vulcan – Vulcan was originally a god of fire, especially fire as a destructive force. The English word
volcano comes from the Italian form of Vulcan's name. Vulcan came to be identified with the Greek
god Hephaestus and thus became associated with metalworking and craftwork.” – Contributor: Daniel P.
Harmon, Ph.D., Professor and Chairman, Department of Classics, University of Washington.
“Hephaestus – As god of fire, Hephaestus became the divine smith and patron of craftsmen; the natural
volcanic or gaseous fires already connected with him were often considered to be his workshops…His
Roman counterpart was Vulcan.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Hephaestus – in Greek mythology, god of fire and metalwork, the son of the god Zeus and the goddess
Hera, or sometimes the son of Hera alone…His workshop was believed to lie under Mount Etna, a
volcano in Sicily. Hephaestus is often identified with the Roman god of fire, Vulcan.” – "Hephaestus,"
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Hephaestus – was the blacksmith of the gods in Greek mythology…The Greeks associated Hephaestus
with volcanic areas, especially the island of Limnos (also spelled Lemnos).” – Worldbook, Contributor: F.
Carter Philips, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Classics, Vanderbilt University.
“Pillan – Pilan (Araucanian People, Chile, South America), Weather god. Thunder god. After death,
tribal chiefs, assuming the form of volcanoes, were met by Pillan. Pillan’s activities cause lightning and
earthquakes.” – Dictionary of Ancient Deities, Patricia Turner & Charles Russell Coulter, Oxford
University Press, New York, New York, Copyright 2000, p. 384
246
“Fuji, Mount – Japanese Fuji-san, also called Fujiyama, or Fuji No Yama, highest mountain in Japan,
rising to 12,388 feet (3,776 m) near the Pacific coast in Yamanashi and Shizuoka ken (prefectures), central
Honshu, about 60 miles (100 km) west of Tokyo. It is a volcano that has been dormant since its last
eruption in 1707 but is still generally classified as active by geologists. The mountain's name, of Ainu
origin, means “everlasting life.” Mount Fuji, with its graceful conical form, has become famous throughout
the world and is considered the sacred symbol of Japan. Among Japanese there is a sense of personal
identification with the mountain, and thousands of Japanese climb to the shrine on its peak every
summer.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Fuji – (Japan), Sun goddess. Mountain goddess. Fire goddess. Goddess of the hearth. In one legend Fuji
is a female and Mt. Haku (a male) who stands higher…Fuji was probably a volcano goddess of Mount
Fujiyamma.” – Dictionary of Ancient Deities, Patricia Turner & Charles Russell Coulter, Oxford
University Press, New York, New York, Copyright 2000, p. 182
“Kilauea – During the 19th century, the main floor of Kilauea's caldera went through several periods of
lava filling and collapse. By 1919 it assumed its present depth of 500 feet (150 m). The floor, paved with
recent lava flows, contains the Halemaumau (“Fern House”) Pit, an inner crater that is Kilauea's most
active vent. Halemaumau is the legendary home of Pele, the Hawaiian fire goddess.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Hawaii – Among the lava features associated with volcanic eruptions are Pele's hair and Pele's tears,
which are named for the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes. Pele's hair is formed when small particles of
molten material are thrown into the air and spun out by the wind into long hair-like strands. Pele's tears are
formed when the particles fuse into tearlike drops of volcanic glass.” – "Hawaii (state)," Microsoft®
Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
1.
Notice that the eruptions of Pele, the
goddess inhabiting the Kilauea volcano, is
attributed in two different ways to a flood.
a. Even in this aspect, the correlation
of massive volcanic activity and the
Biblical global Flood are reflected.
“Pele – (Hawaiian, Polynesian), Mother goddess. Fire Goddess. Goddess of the Kilauea volcano. Goddess
of Dance. Pele, the goddess of the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii, erupts when she is angry…There are
several versions of her arrival in Hawaii; she was expelled from her distant homeland; she was driven to
the island by a flood; she was driven out of Kahiki (Tahiti) by her sister; she went in search of her brother
Kamo-hoali’i: or that she simply loved to travel. It is said that she caused the flood when sea water
poured from her head while searching for the husband who deserted her.” – Dictionary of Ancient
Deities, Patricia Turner & Charles Russell Coulter, Oxford University Press, New York, New York,
Copyright 2000, p. 377
iv. Moving forward, we can also see that earthquakes
were attributed to earthquake gods.
“Nature worship, Heaven and earth as sacred spaces, forces, or processes, Earth
Earthquakes – According to the beliefs of many peoples, earthquakes originate in mountains. In areas
of Africa where the concept of mana is particularly strong, many believe that the dead in the underworld
are the causes of earthquakes, though in the upper Nile basin of The Sudan and in East Africa an
earth deity is sometimes blamed… Generators of earthquakes also may be the gods of the
underworld, such as Tuil, the earthquake god of the inhabitants of the Kamchatka Peninsula, who
rides on a sleigh under the earth.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Tuil – (Kamchatka Peninsula, Sibera), God of earthquakes. He rides his sleigh beneath the earth. Tuil
can be convinced to go elsewhere with his sleigh by poking holes in the ground with a very sharp stick of
247
the proper length.” – Dictionary of Ancient Deities, Patricia Turner & Charles Russell Coulter, Oxford
University Press, New York, New York, Copyright 2000, p. 476
“Nereid – in Greek religion, any of the daughters (numbering 50 or 100) of the sea god Nereus (eldest son
of Pontus, a personification of the sea) and of Doris, daughter of Oceanus (the god of the water encircling
the flat Earth)…the best known of the Nereids were Amphitrite, consort of Poseidon (a sea and
earthquake god)…” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“[CHART] GREEK NAME: Poseidon, ROMAN NAME: Neptune, ROLE IN MYTHOLOGY: God of
the sea and earthquakes.” – "Ancient Roman and Greek Gods," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99.
© 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Poseidon – was the Greek god of the sea, earthquakes, and horses.” – Worldbook, Contributor: Nancy
Felson, Ph.D., Professor of Classics, University of Georgia.
“Cizin – also spelled Kisin (Mayan: “Stinking One”), Mayan earthquake god and god of death, ruler of
the subterranean land of the dead.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Pillan – Pilan (Araucanian People, Chile, South America), Weather god. Thunder god. After death, tribal
chiefs, assuming the form of volcanoes, were met by Pillan. Pillan’s activities cause lightning and
earthquakes.” – Dictionary of Ancient Deities, Patricia Turner & Charles Russell Coulter, Oxford
University Press, New York, New York, Copyright 2000, p. 384
“Poseidon – (Greek; possibly Indo-European origin), Poseidon is the Greek god of the sea. God of rivers
(in Thessaly). Patron of horse racing. One of the twelve great Olympians. Poseidon is the son of Cronos
and Rhea, brother of Zeus, Hades, Hera and Hestia…He is usually depicted seated in a chariot as he is
drawn across the sea by horses, holding a trident in his hand (used for creating earthquakes).” –
Dictionary of Ancient Deities, Patricia Turner & Charles Russell Coulter, Oxford University Press, New
York, New York, Copyright 2000, p. 387-388
v. And eclipses were attributed to gods as well.
“Nature worship, Celestial phenomena as objects of worship or veneration, Eclipses of the sun and
moon – An eclipse of the sun or moon—usually interpreted as a battle between the two heavenly
bodies or as the dying or the devouring of one of the two—in many religions is met with anxiety,
shouting, drum beating, shooting, and other noises. Many Native Americans, the Khoisan in Africa, the
Ainu in Japan, and the Minangkabau in Sumatra interpret the eclipse as the fainting, sickness, or
death of the darkened heavenly body. In Arctic North America, Eskimos, Aleuts, and Tlingit believe
that the sun and moon have moved from their places in order to see that things are going right on
earth. The explanation that heavenly monsters and beasts pursue the stars and attempt to injure and
to kill them, however, is a view found over a larger area. Noise and shooting are believed to deter the
monsters from their pursuit or to force them to return the celestial bodies if they have already been
captured. In parts of China and in Thailand the monster is the heavenly dragon; in other Chinese
regions and among the Germanic tribes and northern American Indians the culprits are dogs and wolves
(coyotes); in Africa and Indonesia they are snakes; in India they are the star monsters Rahu and Ketu;
and in South America the beast is the jaguar. The belief in the darkening of one star by the other in a
battle—e.g., between the sun god Lisa and the moon goddess Gleti in Benin—is about as widespread.
An eclipse may also be interpreted (as in Tahiti) as the lovemaking of sun and moon, who thus beget
the stars and obscure each other in the process.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Rahu – Bhangi (Cambodia; Hindu; India), Originally a Daitya, this monster demon, know as “The
Grasper,” causes eclipses by eating the sun.” – Dictionary of Ancient Deities, Patricia Turner & Charles
Russell Coulter, Oxford University Press, New York, New York, Copyright 2000, p. 397
3.
Conclusions on whether we can only accept natural disasters and
catastrophes if we believe in the existence of God.
248
a.
In all of these cases, evolutionists, uniformitarians, atheists,
and naturalists alike accept that ancient peoples did indeed
experience such natural events, while rejecting the
supernatural cause that these people ascribe to these events.
b. Accepting that such events occurred does not require belief in
divine beings or require accepting ancient people’s
explanation that the cause was divine.
c. Accepting major catastrophes, accepting major extinction
events caused by catastrophes, and even accepting that the
earth was covered with ice does not require belief in the
existence of divine beings.
d. Accepting the occurrence of a global flood, on its own, require
belief in the existence of divine beings.
e. Uniformitarians, evolutionists, atheists, and naturalists could
very well accept the occurrence of the natural event itself
while rejecting the attribution of that event to a deity as a mere
“primitive” explanation, just as they do wholesale all the time.
f. The underlying, foundational philosophies of evolution simply
do not prevent accepting a global or near-global flood.
g. As such, a global or nearly global Flood is compatible with
atheistic and even evolutionary views about religion and there
is no philosophical reason to reject a global or near-global
flood out of hand.
4. So, if there is no geologic principle and no philosophical reason to
reject a global or near-global flood, why is such a flood rejected?
iii. Third, there is ample physical, observable evidence to support or suggest a
global or near global Flood.
1. Instroduction to flood evidence issues
a. Restatement of the key question
i. Since the Flood cannot be rejected on the grounds
that it is compatible with both evolutionary, atheistic,
and uniformitarian views, should it be rejected
because there is simply no evidence for it?
1. But this is simply not the case either.
b. There are 2 strong lines of evidence that here was a global or
near-global flood, the historical record and geological
evidence.
c. In light of the fact that evolutionist and uniformitarians do not
reject other natural phenomena described in “primitive”
cultures as the work of deities, other questions arises as to…
i. Wy, with so much testimony from cultures all around
the world, a global-flood is rejected out of hand?
ii. With no geologic principles or philosophical grounds
for rejecting a flood, why not simply accept the
widespread testimony for such a flood?
iii. Why ignore the historic testimony of people who
were there when there is no principle that prevents
doing so?
2. Evidence for a global flood in the historical record
a. The event of a global or near-global flood is dramatically
attested to by cultures from all around the world.
b. Tales of a global flood from other cultures are not derived
from the Biblical texts but appear to be independent traditions
that predate the writing of the book of Genesis.
c. The fact that the cultures reporting this massive flood are
distributed all around the known world rules out the possibility
249
d.
e.
of only a local flood limited to one particular region or portion
of a continent.
Moreover, the Old Testament Jewish account, the
Mesopotamian Atrahasis, the Sumerian Ziusudra, the Greek
Deucalion, the Armenian legend, and the Hawaiian legend all
specifically include that the survivors were warned in advance
by the gods to build a boat to escape the flood.
i. This also indicates that the flood was not merely local
or regional because, if that was the case, then gods
could have warned the survivors to leave in advance
and escape over land.
ii. These facts prove that the cultures telling the legends
understood the flood to be global, not merely local or
regional and they reported the stories as global
floods.
iii. To reinterpret them in modern times to mere
“regional tales” of “local floods” is not accurate to
the legends themselves.
Historical flood legends from cultures around the world.
i. In Mesopotamia, we find more than one legend of a
massive global flood. The first, and probably most
famous, is the Epic of Gilgamesh.
“Noah – also spelled Noe, the hero of the biblical Flood story in the Old Testament book of Genesis,
the originator of vineyard cultivation, and, as the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the representative head
of a Semitic genealogical line…The story of the Flood has close affinities with Babylonian traditions of
apocalyptic floods in which Utnapishtim plays the part corresponding to that of Noah. These
mythologies are the source of such features of the biblical Flood story as the building and provisioning of
the ark, its flotation, and the subsidence of the waters, as well as the part played by the human protagonist.
Tablet XI of the Gilgamesh epic introduces Utnapishtim, who, like Noah, survived cosmic destruction
by heeding divine instruction to build an ark…Despite the tangible similarities of the Mesopotamian
and biblical myths of the flood, the biblical story has a unique Hebraic perspective.” – Encyclopaedia
Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Gilgamesh – The fullest extant text of the Gilgamesh epic is on 12 incomplete Akkadian-language
tablets found at Nineveh in the library of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (reigned 668–627 BC). The
gaps that occur in the tablets have been partly filled by various fragments found elsewhere in Mesopotamia
and Anatolia. In addition, five short poems in the Sumerian language are known from tablets that
were written during the first half of the 2nd millennium BC…The Gilgamesh of the poems and of the
epic tablets was probably the Gilgamesh who ruled at Uruk in southern Mesopotamia sometime
during the first half of the 3rd millennium BC and who was thus a contemporary of Agga, ruler of Kish;
Gilgamesh of Uruk was also mentioned in the Sumerian list of kings as reigning after the
Flood…Afterward, Gilgamesh made a dangerous journey (Tablets IX and X) in search of
Utnapishtim, the survivor of the Babylonian Flood, in order to learn from him how to escape death. He
finally reached Utnapishtim, who told him the story of the Flood and showed him where to find a
plant that would renew youth (Tablet XI). But after Gilgamesh obtained the plant, it was seized by a
serpent, and Gilgamesh unhappily returned to Uruk.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Middle Eastern religion, Middle Eastern worldviews and basic religious thought, Views of man and
society – In the ancient Middle Eastern worldview, gods could become mortal, and men could become
gods. Utnapishtim, the hero of the Babylonian Flood story…After the Flood the biblical Noah won
God's goodwill, for “the Lord smelled the pleasing odor” (Genesis 8:21) of the tasty flesh and fowl offered
up to him. Noah was following a long tradition, for Utnapishtim (Gilgamesh epic 11:155–161) had,
after the Flood, offered sacrifices and libations to the gods who “crowded like flies” as they “smelled
the sweet savor.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
250
“Mesopotamian religion, The literary legacy: myth and epic, Akkadian literature
Epics – The Akkadian Epic of Gilgamesh seems to have been composed in Old Babylonian times but
was reworked by a certain Sin-leqe-unnini later in the 1st millennium BC…After many adventures he
reaches his ancestor Utnapishtim, to whom the gods have granted eternal life, but his case proves to be a
unique one and so of no help to Gilgamesh. Utnapishtim was rewarded for having saved human and
animal life at the time of the great Flood. Eventually, just as Gilgamesh is ready to return home, he is
told about a plant that rejuvenates and transforms old people into children. Gilgamesh finds it and begins
his return journey. But, as the day is warm, when he passes an inviting pool he leaves his clothes and the
plant on the shore and goes in for a swim. A serpent smells the plant, comes out of its hole, and eats it.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Deluge – Stories about great floods occur in the religious tradition of many peoples. A famous
account is found in the Epic of Gilgamesh from Mesopotamia. Many scholars believe the
Mesopotamian and Biblical accounts are related.” – Contributor: H. Darrell Lance, Ph.D., Professor
Emeritus, Old Testament Interpretation, Colgate Rochester/Bexley/Crozer Theological Seminary.
“Gilgamesh Epic – an important Middle Eastern literary work, written in cuneiform on 12 clay tablets
about 2000BC…After Enkidu's death, Gilgamesh seeks out the wise man Utnapishtim to learn the
secret of immortality. The sage recounts to Gilgamesh a story of a great flood (the details of which
are so remarkably similar to later biblical accounts of the flood that scholars have taken great
interest in this story). After much hesitation, Utnapishtim reveals to Gilgamesh that a plant bestowing
eternal youth is in the sea. Gilgamesh dives into the water and finds the plant but later loses it to a serpent
and, disconsolate, returns to Uruk to end his days.” – "Gilgamesh Epic," Microsoft® Encarta®
Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
ii. The second Mesopotamian legend of a massive flood
is the legend of Atrahasis.
“Judaism, The Judaic tradition, Jewish myth and legend, Sources and development, Myth and legend
in the Old Testament, Myths – Old Testament myths are found mainly in the first 11 chapters of
Genesis, the first book of the Bible…The basic stories are derived from the popular lore of the
ancient Middle East and can be paralleled in the extant literature of the peoples of the area…Again,
the story of the Deluge, including the elements of the ark and the dispatch of the raven and dove,
appears already in the Babylonian myths of Gilgamesh and Atrahasis.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica
2004 Deluxe Edition
“Mesopotamian mythology – Other Mesopotamian myths include the story of Atrahasis, a wise man
who was saved from the Flood after being warned by one of the gods to build a ship to save himself.”
– Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Mesopotamian religion, The literary legacy: myth and epic, Akkadian literature, Myths – Also
important is an Old Babylonian ‘Myth of Atrahasis,’ which, in motif, shows a relationship with the
account of the creation of man to relieve the gods of toil in the ‘Enki and Ninmah’ myth, and with a
Sumerian account of the Flood in the ‘Eridu Genesis’…With this, however, Enlil's patience was at an
end and he thought of the Flood as a means to get rid of humanity once and for all. Enki, however,
warned Atrahasis and had him build a boat in which he saved himself, his family, and all animals.
After the Flood had abated and the ship was grounded, Atrahasis sacrificed, and the hungry gods,
much chastened, gathered around the offering…The myth uses the motif of the protest of the gods against
their hard toil and the creation of humans to relieve it, which was depicted earlier in the Sumerian myth
of “Enki and Ninmah,” and also the motif of the Flood, which occurred in the ‘Eridu Genesis.’” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
iii. The Sumerians also had a flood legend involving a
hero named Ziusudra.
251
“Shuruppak – Shuruppak was celebrated in Sumerian legend as the scene of the Deluge, which
destroyed all humanity except one survivor, Ziusudra. He had been commanded by a protecting god
to build an ark, in which he rode out the disaster, afterward re-creating man and living things upon the
earth, and was himself endowed with eternal life. Ziusudra corresponds with Utnapishtim in the
Gilgamesh epic and with the biblical Noah.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
iv. Armenia also has a flood legend.
1. Notice from the last line of the quote that all
of the “first race of humans” is reported to
have been destroyed by this flood, which
indicates the flood was global, not limited to
merely one local group.
“Ararat, Mount – Ararat traditionally is associated with the mountain on which Noah's Ark came to
rest at the end of the Flood…Ararat is sacred to the Armenians, who believe themselves to be the
first race of humans to appear in the world after the Deluge.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe
Edition
v. Phrygia in Asia Minor also has a flood legend.
1. Notice once again that the flood is reported
to have “destroyed humanity,” which
indicates that the flood was global and not
limited to one population.
“Konya – Konya is one of the oldest urban centres in the world; excavations in Alâeddin Hill in the
middle of the city indicate settlement dating from at least the 3rd millennium BC. According to a
Phrygian legend of the great flood, Konya was the first city to rise after the deluge that destroyed
humanity.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Phrygia – ancient district in west-central Anatolia, named after a people whom the Greeks called
Phryges and who dominated Asia Minor between the Hittite collapse (12th century BC) and the Lydian
ascendancy (7th century BC). The Phrygians, perhaps of Thracian origin, settled in northwestern
Anatolia late in the 2nd millennium…This early civilization borrowed heavily from the Hittites, whom they
had replaced, and established a system of roads later utilized by the Persians. About 730 the Assyrians
detached the eastern part of the confederation, and the locus of power shifted to Phrygia proper under the
rule of the legendary king Midas.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
vi. Greece also has a flood legend.
1. In the Greek version, “the human race” is
destroyed, indicating that the phenomenon
was not limited to just a local population.
“Lycaon – in Greek mythology, a legendary king of Arcadia. Traditionally, he was an impious and cruel
king who tried to trick Zeus, the king of the gods, into eating human flesh. The god was not deceived and
in wrath caused a deluge to devastate the earth.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Deucalion – in Greek mythology, son of the Titan Prometheus. Deucalion was king of Phthia in
Thessaly (Thessalia) when the god Zeus, because of the wicked ways of the human race, destroyed
them by flood. For nine days and nights Zeus sent torrents of rain. Only Deucalion and his wife, Pyrrha,
survived drowning. They were saved because they were the only people who had led good lives and
remained faithful to the laws of the gods. Having been warned by his father, Prometheus, of the
approaching disaster, Deucalion built a boat, which carried him and Pyrrha safely to rest atop
Mount Parnassus. The oracle at Delphia commanded them to cast the bones of their mother over their
shoulders. Understanding this to mean the stones of the earth, they obeyed, and from the stones sprang a
new race of people.” – "Deucalion," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft
Corporation. All rights reserved.
252
“Deucalion – was the "Noah" of Greek mythology. He was the son of Prometheus, who was a member
of the earliest race of gods, called Titans. When Zeus decided to destroy all human beings by a flood
because of their wickedness, Prometheus warned Deucalion and Deucalion's wife, Pyrrha. He told
them to build a wooden ark. They floated in this ark for nine days until they landed on the top of
Mount Parnassus. When the water went down, they were the only living creatures left on the
earth…Deucalion and Pyrrha became the ancestors of the Greeks through their son Hellen, for whom the
Hellenes (Greeks) were named.” – Contributor: William F. Hansen, Ph.D., Professor of Classical Studies
and Folklore, Indiana University.
vii. Moving farther away, China also has a legend of a
massive flood.
1. Notice that Chinese history begins with their
civilization starting after a massive flood.
“Ta Yu – Pinyin Da Yu (Chinese: “Yü the Great”), in Chinese mythology, the Tamer of the Flood, one
of China's saviour-heroes and reputed founder of China's oldest dynasty, the Hsia. One legend among
many recounts Ta Yü's extraordinary birth: a man called Kun was given charge of controlling a great
deluge.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“The Chinese have a story…it’s one of the oldest stories in the world. It says the father of their
civilization is a guy named Fuhi. The story says that Fuhi, his wife, three sons and three daughters
escaped a great flood. After the flood, they were the only people alive on earth and they repopulated
the world.” – “Dinosaurs and the Bible,” Dr. Kent E. Hovind, Creation Science Evangelism, Pensacola,
FL, www.drdino.com, Windows Media Video, 15 minutes, 15 seconds
viii. Even farther away, we find flood legends in North,
Central, and South America.
1. Notice from the Central and South American
legends in particular that all of the world and
all of the previous population of mankind
are destroyed, further indicating that the
flood was experienced by all of humanity,
not just regional groups.
“Iroquois – An elaborate Iroquois cosmology was based on the myth of a woman who fell from the sky,
and it featured deluge and earth-diver motifs. No other tribes showed such a preoccupation in their
mythology with supernatural aggression and cruelty, sorcery, torture, and cannibalism.” –
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Pre-Columbian civilizations, Meso-American civilization, Pre-Classic and Classic periods, Late
Classic Lowland Maya (600–900), Classic Maya religion, Creation – The Maya, like other Middle
American Indians, believed that several worlds had been successively created and destroyed before
the present universe had come into being. The Dresden Codex holds that the end of a world will come
about by deluge: although the evidence derived from Landa's Relación and from the Quiché Popol Vuh is
not clear, it is likely that four worlds preceded the present one. People were made successively of earth
(who, being mindless, were destroyed), then of wood (who, lacking souls and intelligence and being
ungrateful to the gods, were punished by being drowned in a flood or devoured by demons), and finally
of a corn gruel (the ancestors of the Maya).” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Pre-Columbian civilizations, Meso-American civilization, Aztec culture to the time of the Spanish
conquest, Aztec religion, Cosmogony and eschatology – The Aztec believed that four worlds had
existed before the present universe. Those worlds, or “suns,” had been destroyed by catastrophes.
Humankind had been entirely wiped out at the end of each sun. The present world was the fifth sun,
and the Aztec thought of themselves as ‘the People of the Sun.’…The fourth sun, Nahui-Atl, “Four-
253
Water,” ended in a gigantic flood that lasted for 52 years. Only one man and one woman survived,
sheltered in a huge cypress.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Arts, Native American, Literature, Oral literatures, North American cultures: Southwest, Eastern
Woodlands, and Plains, Plains – The last of the Plains tribes, the Comanche, believe that the Great
Spirit created some people, but that there were white people existing before them. A flood washed
these white people away, and they turned into white birds and flew away. A secondary spirit was then sent
to create the Comanche.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Arts, Native American, Literature, Oral literatures, Middle American cultures – The Aztecs of the
Toltec period had four mythological eras: those of (1) the Water Sun, which was destroyed by
flood…The Inca civilization of Peru has been added to the higher cultures of Meso-America because it
resembles them more closely than it does its neighbours, the simpler tribes of South America. As far back
as mythological history can be traced, the Incas have worshiped Viracocha, the creator. He was the
omnipotent being who took part in every mythological incident…In all of these myths the flood is
present, which requires the recreation of man after each incident.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004
Deluxe Edition
“The Toltec Indians in Mexico have a legend that says ‘the first world lasted 1716 years and was
destroyed by a flood that covered the highest mountains.’ Only one family named Coxcox survived.”
– “Dinosaurs and the Bible,” Dr. Kent E. Hovind, Creation Science Evangelism, Pensacola, FL,
www.drdino.com, Windows Media Video, 15 minutes, 40 seconds
ix. Even as far away as Hawaii, there are flood legends.
“The Hawaiian’s had a legend that said, “Long after the death of Kuniuhonna, the first man, the world
became a wicked terrible place to live. There was one good man left; his name was Nu-u. He made a
great canoe with a house on it and filled it with animals. The waters came up over all the earth and
killed all the people. Only Nu-u and his family were saved.” – “Dinosaurs and the Bible,” Dr. Kent E.
Hovind, Creation Science Evangelism, Pensacola, FL, www.drdino.com, Windows Media Video, 14
minutes, 40 seconds
f.
Conclusions about the global flood evidence in the historical
record
i. The destruction of the world by a massive if not
global flood is attested to by a variety of independent
ancient sources around the world.
1. Notice that the last quote below also
includes the Japanese as having flood
legends, which is a group that was not
covered in the quotes above.
“Today there are 270 surviving flood legends…in many cultures that have never heard of the Bible.”
– “Dinosaurs and the Bible,” Dr. Kent E. Hovind, Creation Science Evangelism, Pensacola, FL,
www.drdino.com, Windows Media Video, 14 minutes, 40 seconds
“Religious myths – The tale of man's creation and moral decline forms part of the myth of the Four
Ages (see below Myths of the ages of the world). His subsequent destruction by flood and regeneration
from stones is partly based on folktale.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Creation Stories – When the gods decide to destroy their human creations, they do so by sending a
flood (see Ancient Middle Eastern Religions; Deluge).” – "Creation Stories," Microsoft® Encarta®
Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
“Nature worship, Elements and forces of nature, Water, Water as primal matter – Myths of a great
flood (the Deluge) are widespread over Eurasia and America. This flood, which destroys with a few
254
exceptions a disobedient original population, is an expiation by the water, after which a new type of
world is created.” – Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition
“Deluge – A number of ancient nations had folklore that predated the Bible and also made reference
to the great flood. An example is the Gilgamesh Epic, an ancient Babylonian story dating from
2000BC and written on 12 cuneiform tablets. It concerns a ruler (Gilgamesh) who, after losing his dearest
friend to a mysterious death, seeks out a wise man (Utnapishtim) who is a survivor of the great flood
and knows the secret of immortality. Accounts such as this have intrigued biblical scholars because they
lend further credence to the later biblical version. Although a number of these scholars have concluded
that the biblical narrative is derived from the Babylonian story, it is possible that each was taken
from a common earlier source, now lost. Events similar to those described in the biblical story occur
also in Greek mythology (see Deucalion). Among other peoples whose folklore and legends contain
accounts of a devastating deluge are those of southern Asia, the aborigines of North, Central, and
South America, and the natives of Polynesia. The Chinese and Japanese have stories of floods, but
these do not, as a rule, destroy the entire earth. Curiously, flood legends do not occur among the ancient
inhabitants of the Nile Valley and are not common anywhere else in Africa or in Europe.” – "Deluge,"
Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
ii. Legends of a massive flood with only a few survivors
after which human civilization was regenerated
virtually from scratch exist all around the world…
1. from Mesopotamia to China and Japan to
Hawaii to North, Central, and South
America and back again to Greece, Phrygia,
and Armenia, and Sumeria.
2. (Even the well-known story of Atlantis
includes the idea of a great civilation that
was destroyed by water.)
iii. In terms of historical attestation, it’s hard to imagine
what more we could possibly expect to find than this:
the legend of such a massive, flood-based extinction
event attested to independently by cultures spanning
the globe from east to west.
iv. What we find is exactly what we would expect to
find if such a flood did occur.
v. The fact that such a flood-based extinction event is
reported in cultures on every continent rules out the
suggestion that the flood was merely on a smaller
“local” or “regional” level.
vi. And given that a global flood-based extinction event
is not incompatible with uniformitarian principles (or
even atheism and evolutionary views of religion),
there is no grounds for rejecting worldwide historical
testimony for such in favor of mere speculations and
suppositions from eighteenth and nineteenth century
persons, such as Hutton and Lyell, who lived almost
3,500 years after these events.
“Hutton, James – born June 3, 1726, Edinburgh, Scotland, died March 26, 1797, Edinburgh…His chief
contribution to scientific knowledge, the uniformitarian principle…Hut