Was it really an accident?
I just discovered this article written in 1992 by my daughter Kimberly, then 15 years old. I will post it
here until Kim discovers it and insists I remove it.
FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS there was no question about how the world came into being. It was taken for granted that the universe was created by some Superior Being what form this "Being" took never was totally resolved, and there is still a diversity of belief among those who hold the dated view that the world was created by someone. It appears that mankind has finally been enlightened after all those years of childish disillusionment.... but have we really? Unfortunately it seems that Darwin and his faithful followers have lost the real proof of evolution somewhere along the line. There is no absolute proof of either evolution or creation no one has yet claimed to have been there at the foundation of the world but one of the two theories has to have the greater proportion of evidence on its side.
One of the most important factors in developing a theory is to collect the evidence and then draw the most likely theory from observation of the evidence. It is vital that the evidence is complete before one starts making hasty assumptions (that's not to say that you make hasty assumptions after the evidence is complete either!). In the case of both the evolution and creation theories you could probably safely say that the evidence was manipulated to fit the original theory, the theory itself being drawn from incomplete information.
Before dashing off into a lot of whys and wherefores it is necessary to clarify one thing: when I say "evolution" I mean the concept originally proposed by Darwin, not the "compromise" concept that evolution was guided by the Superior Being. That's not to say that this theory is necessarily any more right or wrong than the other two, but it is neither one nor the other.
One of the major flaws in the creation theory is the unlikeliness of the existence of Someone out there. Look at this world today, what is there to show that a God exists other than the "blind" faith of a few million people? The other main problem is that Archbishop Usher set a date to the creation of the universe which has since been proven to be incorrect. These are two points against creation. However evolution has points against it too.
One of the mistakes made in the development of the evolution theory is the fact that some important links simply haven't yet been discovered. Where are the fossils of geese with tails? Or fish with legs? It is rather unfortunate that a sizeable proportion of these vital links just well they just don't seem to be there.
There are a good many questions surrounding creation which no one has been able to answer: which came first, the chicken or the egg? This is a very important question if you wish to reconstruct the original creation. Of course, that this has no relevance to whether or not the world was created is not a legitimate point.
There is absolutely no way that the original world was created on the date set by Archbishop Usher unless you totally disregard scientific laws and forces, but this doesn't automatically rule out all possibility of the Earth being created. Just because a man attributed a date to creation doesn't mean that the creation took place either on the date that he suggested or not at all. Anyway, enough sarcasm. A good scientist will always prove his or her point before expecting anyone to agree. So, the Evidence:
In "proving" evolution Darwin went about pointing out the similarities between various animals, from which he supposed that they all had a common starting point. Many animals however, have hardly any resemblance to other living creatures; either existing or extinct. Even the earliest birds had little resemblance to lizards. Men are yet to find a tree that looks like an armadillo. Similarities, of themselves mean very little in either proving or disproving evolution. No book has ever been known to write itself, yet within the different novels written by different people there are similarities in a whole range of areas. Some of this can be explained by similarity in patterns of living among human beings, but many fantasies are similar.
According to Evolution by Ruth Moore, "Evolution takes place most dramatically when man selects traits he likes and breeds them into his domesticated plants or animals." This is an excellent way of demonstrating that evolution could work. If man can breed blue roses then surely a cat can come from a dandelion. Men are just lucky in that they have more than one kind of cell to experiment with.
According to Darwin all present life on Earth evolved from a single living cell, yet no way has yet been discovered to change the nature of an individual cell except in unusual circumstances. Even though it is possible under such unusual circumstances for a cell to change, the chances of, say, a white blood cell changing to a red blood cell even in several mutations are minimal. Then you have to take the possibility of this happening more than once who can calculate how many times over cells would have to mutate to produce the variety of life we have on Earth at present, even taking into consideration cross-breeding the mathematical chance of such a thing happening is hardly worth calling a chance.
The world that has evolved
To demonstrate just how complex life is and to further show how unlikely it would be for evolution to be the sole cause of life on Earth we will consider just a few of the many wonders that the world of Science has to offer.
The world of botany
Upon first looking at a flower, one seldom notices more than that it is a very beautiful thing. A closer look shows that perhaps it is more complex than it first appears. Within an individual flower you would often find two kinds of sex organs. One is the female carpel with a seed-containing ovary forming its base and pollen-catching stigmas topping the supporting style. The other sex organ is the male stamen which consists of two parts: the supporting filament and the pollen-producing anther. The carpel and stamens are surrounded by petals which, in turn are embraced by the sepals which previously enclosed the entire structure in one small flower bud.
This description doesn't even take into account the individual structure of the carpel and stamens; how the flower is sustained; what makes the flower grow; what determines the actual appearance of the individual flower; the unusual structure of orchids; and so on ad infinitum.
Within a plant are all the individual cells which reproduce themselves and design and organize the tissues that will provide the framework, water and food supply, storage and outer protective covering. These cells are the smallest living unit in plants and make up all the various kinds of plants. In each cell is nucleus, mitochondria, chloroplasts, carotene chromoplasts, golgi structures, endoplasmic reticulum, starch grains, and the cell wall.
Each plant is a chemical factory, producing its own food through photosynthesis: converting light energy into usable chemical energy. It took a long time for scientists to even recognize that there was an actual, structured process involved in turning sunlight into food. The chloroplasts, with their light-reacting pigment, are mainly responsible for the turning of sunlight into food. Water and carbon dioxide are also needed for the plant to be able to produce its own food, but otherwise the whole process is basically independent of surrounding conditions. That is unless for some reason the plant's food producing capabilities are somehow impaired by outside factors. The entire cycle is both awe-inspiring and complex.
Chromosomes, genes and DNA
The million animal species and the quarter of a million kinds of plants present on the Earth today represent only a small proportion of the entire array of life that has ever been on the Earth in all history. Each and every one of these kinds of life have contained chromosomes, genes and DNA. Along with these go laws of inheritance which determines which characteristics you inherit from which parent. For example, in chromosome combination of a blue-eyed woman and a blue-eyed man there are blue-eyed children, but such is not necessarily the case with brown-eyed parents.
The chemical that makes each person what they are is DNA. Within its spiral structure, the arrangement of its four chemical sub-units is like a set of coded building instructions for the entire organism. The possible number of sequences is greater than the number of subatomic particles in the universe.
DNA directs growth and body chemistry by unwinding new chemical building blocks to its own sequence creating, by this method, other molecules called RNA. The RNA go out into the cell and it is by a similar process of matching that they create a special array of protein molecules which the cell then uses as tools to build its own structure and to perform its individual function in the body.
Those who are somewhat familiar with their local wildlife from ants to anteaters will know that there is more to the creatures that share our earth with us than may appear at first. There is something fascinating about the bird that will always stop once it gets to the edge of its territory; or the ant which will continue going in a straight line despite all obstacles which constantly block its path.
Part of animal behavior is involved with the tendency to use only some of the information being sent to the brain by the sense organs. In a classic example of this tendency a famous scientist, namely Carl von Hess, concluded through a series of experiments that honey bees are color-blind. The experiment he conducted was to confront honey bees in the laboratory with two different colored lights, one of which was brighter. The bees always headed, without fail, for the brighter of the two lights. It was shown by later experiments by another scientist that honey bees aren't color-blind after all, they only responding to the brighter of the two lights instead of the color.
Herring gull chicks peck at the red spot on the bill of their parents as a signal that they want food, but tests showed that chicks will respond to most contrasting colors. One of the factors was also the thinness of the bill the thinner the bill, the greater the response. One of the experimental "bills" was a thin rod colored red with three sharply defined white rings which looked nothing like the real bill of a herring gull, yet the chicks aimed 25 per cent more pecks at it than at a real herring gull's bill!
We have a goose at home which shows all the signs of using only a small proportion of the information provided her by her sensory organs. This goose laid some eggs a few months ago which never ended up coming good. Even when it was obvious to us that the eggs were beyond reprieve, the goose still sat on those eggs. Dad, in an attempt to put an end to her fruitless waiting, destroyed the remaining eggs. Yet the goose still sat on the nest and has only just come off it. Why? A fascinating question.
Another interesting example of only partial use of the information provided by the sense organs is that of the digger wasp. A digger wasp always memorizes the landmarks around its nest to enable it to more easily locate its nest. In an experiment to test this a ring of pinecones was placed around a digger wasp's nest. The wasp soon familiarized itself with this setup and when the ring of pinecones was moved slightly the wasp was unable to find its nest just outside the ring of pinecones. In another stage of the experimentation a ring of pebbles was placed just near the nest and the formation of the pinecones around the nest itself was changed to a triangle. In this case the wasp headed without hesitation to the circle of pebbles.
It is now necessary to revert to evolution again. It has been shown that animals can't adapt very well to changes and will tend to stick to the old and tried methods of survival, blindly following the path paved by instinct and early impressions. Animals are fundamentally unchanging. They don't generally develop their lifestyles within a lifetime or even several generations as humans do. Living organisms except humans just seem to keep sticking to the same old lifestyles, even if they are "outdated".
The system that sustains us the human body
Few people seem to stop to think about and appreciate the complex system that sustains us until they have been robbed of one of its functions. It is said: "no one appreciates light more than the blind". How true this is. Surely we are ignoring a tremendous Presence if we believe that the human body evolved.
First of all we have the skeleton 206 bones perfectly arranged to make the ideal man. What would have happened if the joints weren't there? Out skeleton is just right for humans and the lifestyle they lead right down to the hammer, anvil and stirrup. Rather a coincidence, isn't it?
The muscles are the same. A skeleton, no matter how fantastic, would have been absolutely useless without the muscles. How is it that each and every muscle happens to be in the right place, too? Life would be just slightly inconvenient without a heart.
The skin holds the whole lot together. The skin itself is pretty amazing, insignificant though it may seem. It is the individual pores that allow the elimination of excess bodily oils. Really, when you think about it, our body is a miracle in and of itself. Without one part of it there couldn't be the other. Whatever way you look at it, you have to marvel at the complexity of the world around us and within us.
The nervous system is another thing. The basic unit of the nervous system is the neuron which differs from all other body cells in one attribute. Extending from the centre of each neuron are thread-like tendrils, which make the neuron different from any other body cell. A neuron may vary in size from a fraction of an inch to five or six feet long, depending on its position and function. All signals from the sensory organs are sent either directly to the brain or via the spinal cord. A signal is sent from one neuron to one lying adjacent to it across a kind of spark gap called a synapse. One can imagine the variety of signals that are sent every few fractions of a second to give us the sensations of sight, sound, hot, cold and so on.
The eye, ear, nose, tongue, and skin each play a particular role in our lives. The brain is, of course, directly connected to each function. Without the brain to interpret the signals there would be no life. Each sensory organ has its special function and it is from the signals which we receive that we are able to reason and make decisions. Without any of the messages sent to the brain by the sensory organs, not only would we not know what we were doing at any given time, we wouldn't be able to survive for very long.
The human mind
Why do I devote a separate section to the human mind? Simply, because it deserves a separate mention. Without reasoning abilities which we owe so much to, men would scarcely differ from the animals. Do we have any special attribute that makes us different from other animals? Who can say absolutely? Proof is an abominable thing which evades us in the most important issues of life and death. We don't know the language of the animals and this prevents from finding out for sure if they are intelligent, but we can make an educated guess. Our mind is the source of man's progress we won't say whether it deserves to be called progress or not because many good as well as bad things have come about through scientific break-throughs and we have not yet seen any animal do anything similar. Rats, the favorite laboratory animal, for all their supposed intelligence, are only acting based on conditioned behavior they never discover anything spontaneously, it is all there for them waiting for the rat to literally run into the discovery without ever appearing to go through any kind of reasoning process. Man has reason to believe that he is the superior inhabitant of this Earth.
Our ecosystem the tightrope which we walk
The world that we live in is not only made up of all its living creatures and their environment, but also how these animals and plants work together to create a system of living, a complex web of life which relies on all its members to be able to function properly.
All animals and plants live where they do for a very good reason, namely because that's where they are needed and that is the place which can provide for their needs. There are also reasons for certain organisms being absent from environments which would be fully capable of supporting them. Foxes, for example, can live very well in the environment and weather provided them by Australia, but they weren't here once and now that they have been introduced they are doing quite a bit of damage.
It was Darwin who discovered that bumble bees, because of their long tongues, are the only insects which can pollinate the red clover. It was also found that bumble bee nests can be found more around towns because of the absence of field mice which eat bumble bees there, which in turn are absent from towns because of the number of cats which are generally to be found in towns. This theory went from "the sublime to the ridiculous" when a German scientist went on to add that cats were responsible for the prevalence of red clover in England; red clover, a staple food of British cattle could be linked to the British Navy whose staple diet is bully beef which of course accounted for British dominance as a world power.
Such an example is perhaps carrying co-existence within a community a bit far, but then it illustrates very well how much certain plants and animals depend upon each other for survival. What is most interesting is that many animals don't seem to be needed at all. Take, for example, many of the animals which have become extinct over the centuries. The extinction of the Dodo bird obviously didn't cause a major ecological disaster. This brings to light that it is all relative. Some animals which are not major assets on the world scene may be missed in the long run, and often see a less efficient functioning of the web of life when they become extinct or endangered.
Although the ecosystem allows some leeway for mistakes, it is amazing when you stop to think what a complex system our overall ecosystem is. How did it come to be that all these animals and plants are in just the right place in relation to their environmental conditions and other organisms? What if somehow the earthworm had been missed out, or the cow or the sheep? How did the original organism(s) survive in an environment which wasn't developed for their sustenance and survival? What did that original living cell do for food?
Most people just consider a food chain to involve eating and being eaten, but it goes much further than that. Within a food chain there are competitors: animals which eat the same food. For there to be a balance in the ecosystem there has to be a certain proportion of each of the predators and their prey. If the prey dies out, then so do the predators; if the predators die out, there will be an excess of the prey and so the chain may be broken by one of the links being taken away. What is so fantastic is that many times the community will adapt to the loss of one of its members and although the functioning will be less efficient, it will still function.
When I use the word "ecosystem" I also include in that the air we breathe, the sun, the ozone layer and so on. Why is it that Earth is the only planet which has the perfect conditions for sustaining life as we know it? What would have happened if it was Mars that had the right atmospheric conditions would life have adapted to the weather conditions it has to offer?
Every since the other planets started being studied in detail, scientist have assured men that no other planet is capable of supporting life as we know it. Or, to put it in less friendly terms, the other planets in our solar system are hostile to life. So, not only has this Earth provided us with all that we need, but it is unique, and so is our solar system in many ways.
So far the facts have been presented along with arguments integrated in the text where it was considered necessary to make a point within its context. Otherwise no especially strong arguments against evolution have been produced.
Now please consider all of the information presented: the complexities of the universe; the solar system; the Earth; the ecosystem; the human body; the human mind.....down to the smallest cell. A piece of matter the size of a pea was meant to have been the universe; dormant for eons until it literally burst into existence. A single cell was Life; lifeless until it split who knows how many times to become Life on this planet. It sounds good, just like creation did only a few decades ago.
Think about it though, what are the chances of this Earth being able to support life; the chances of life being produced spontaneously; the chances of that first cell surviving; the chances of that cell and many cells after it undergoing a mutation. There are more ifs, but the fact is, the chances of each of those happening is one in millions; the chance of all of those happening is scarcely worth considering.
No one said that everything was created at once. It was assumed, yes, but no one had ever really considered such a possibility at one time. Nothing had indicated that different things were created at different times once upon a time when religion was uncomplicated so it was only natural that the first reaction to dinosaur skeletons being discovered was "Heresy!". No one was ever proved to be the ultimate authority on creation, so who are we to assume that different animals, many of which have been unknown to man for so many generations, were not created separately within different time periods and then eventually died out with one or two exceptions. Creationism has many different theories, all of which can't be right just like no one ever said that all of the theories about evolution are right.
Here man is, never having been able to make anything with reasoning powers greater than himself. A computer, no matter how wonderful it may be, only does what you tell it to do. No man has ever been able to create a living cell... and yet we say it was by chance that men came into being! When have you looked at the painting of Mona Lisa and said: "that is not the work of a man, it must have evolved". How long must our generation ignore the masterpiece that has been set before them? What man would not be proud to be able to claim this Earth this universe as his own handiwork?
Is "God" just a mysterious word etched in the sands of time by some absent-minded passer-by long since covered over by the drifting dunes of man's progress?
In writing this assignment I have looked, not only for evidence against evolution, but also evidence against creation. I wanted to make the argument a fair one, but I have failed miserably. A writer should have a considerable interest in the opinions of others and so I have but none of the arguments defending evolution have been truly satisfactory. Consider this:
Meanwhile, a few geologists, notably Sir Charles Lyell, had begun to demonstrate that the various slow geological processes which could be seen at work today had also operated in the past, which meant that the age of the Earth must be very great indeed, and biblical events like the miraculous creation of the world and a universal deluge were open to question. At the same time, though quite independently, biologists and zoologists like Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace, supported by T H Huxley, were putting forward their theories of evolution, which could be seen to involve slow processes of development affecting all living things, including humans (Derrik Mercer (DM) Chronicle of the World 1991).
I will make no comment, but only ask the reader to carefully consider this passage.
Life: was it really an accident?
Kimberly McQueen, 12.92
References and notes
Willow: the End of Diversity
Franklin: Why I Ran
Dawn to Dusk publications
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