Recently, I’ve been challenged by a new acquaintance to discuss some of the details and implications of Darwinian Evolution. This is a friendly discussion and I commend my skeptical, truth-seeking friend for his willingness to tackle these issues in a serious, respectful manner. We also agreed to read a couple of books that supported our respective points of view. I recommended Jay Richards’, God and Evolution and Fazale Rana’s, Origins of Life. To his credit, he ordered both books the next day. In turn, I agreed to read a book he thinks is compelling in support of evolution, Jerry Coyne’s, Why Evolution Is True.
Coyne is a very convincing writer and makes a compelling case for his view. Ultimately, I don’t find it persuasive but that’s why we’re having the discussion! In an attempt to engage Coyne’s arguments, I am linking to a series of blog posts by Jonathan McLatchie, a fellow CrossExamined instructor and frequent contributor not only to the CrossExamined Blog, but to the Discovery Institute’s Evolution News and Views.
This link gives a summary of Jonathan’s multi-post review of Coyne’s book and links to each of the posts in the series: Jonathan McLatchie’s Review of: Evolution is True.
Jonathan has a undergraduate degree in Forensic Biology and a Master’s Degree in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Glasgow, Scotland. He is currently serving as an intern with the Discovery Institute in Seattle. In other words, Jonathan is the kind of guy who can speak intelligently to this subject and I am happy to let him. As the discussion progresses, I will try to offer my own thoughts at a more practical, Marine-friendly level if I can.
Here are some quick takes on each post in the series with specific links to each one.
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In this installment of the Myth of Evolution, the authors delve into the differences between micro-evolution (adaptation) and macro-Evolution. Here are the definitions they offer of each:
Microevolution (n): Evolution resulting from a succession of relatively small genetic variations that often cause the formation of new subspecies.
Macroevolution (n): Large-scale evolution occurring over geologic time that results in the formation of new taxonomic groups.
As I have discussed before, the former is not controversial while the latter has no evidential support. But in the Evolutionary Mythology, the former must lead to the latter. That is the crux of the theory. Intermediary fossils should offer us a historical picture of just how this occurred.
If this tree of life grew as claimed, we should find literally billions upon billions of “intermediate” forms of life fossilized all over the Earth. The patterns we would expect to uncover should show barely detectable differences in body forms as plants and animals made the minute transformation between their original and current forms. Not only so, but the pattern formed by those billions of fossils should also reveal the equally minute transformation of life from the simplest form (originating in the “warm little pond”) to the most complex advanced life we are surrounded by today (you).
So what do we find? In the 150 years since Darwin proposed this idea, the lack of transitional fossil evidence is the most glaring deficiency in Evolutionary Theory. There simply isn’t any. Though Darwinian devotees are quick to run some of their “missing links” up the media flagpole, the examples they use are lame to insufficient.
Or, as Phillip Johnson puts it, “…if Evolution means the gradual change of one kind of organism into another kind, the outstanding characteristic of the fossil record is the absence of evidence for [Macro]-evolution.” (Darwin on Trial, 50)
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