The Mechanism of Evolution?

One of the things that stuck out to me in the recent Ken Ham and Bill Nye debate is a comment that Bill Nye made about the mechanism of evolution.  He said that the mechanism of evolution is energy from the sun reaching earth, and that energy is used to produce change in organisms, thereby producing evolution.  Typically, Evolutionists teach that this energy helps produce mutations, which bring improvements to organisms.  They teach that these mutations are the positive changes that improve one species into a new species.

The first problem with this theory is that energy alone cannot produce any meaningful improvement.  If a house is being built, and the framing of the house is already standing, someone could take large boulders and launch them at the house.  The boulders would certainly add energy to the house, but the result would not be a completed house.  Energy alone does not make positive changes.  Energy must be harnessed and directed by some mechanism in order to be useful.  Energy certainly is required to build a house, but that energy must be directed through the intelligence of the builders, whether through manual labor or machines.

Now certainly some organisms, such as plants, do use energy from the sun in their growth.  But the plant itself already has the mechanism in place that is designed to use that energy, and it already has the information for how to use that energy.  For a Creationist, this is not a problem.  If God created the plant as it is today, then it was created with the mechanism to use energy from the sun.  The problem for evolution is the proverbial chicken and egg, because there would be a point in the past when the plant would need to use the energy from the sun but would not yet have developed the mechanism to harness and direct that energy or the information for how to use the energy.  How could the plant have the mechanism to use energy from the sun if the plant needed energy from the sun to produce the mechanism?  If energy from the sun was needed to produce the mechanism that used energy, how did the plant harness and direct the energy to develop that mechanism before the mechanism existed?  Energy alone cannot add information; how would the plant develop the information for how to use the energy?  Energy alone cannot produce information and improvement; energy must be harnessed and directed.

Generally, evolution teaches that energy, particularly through the sun, produces changes and improvements in organisms through mutations.  They teach that these mutations gradually improve and evolve one species into a new species.  But despite countless experiments attempting to produce a mutation that provides positive change, scientists have failed to find one positive mutation.  All mutations either produce no noticeable effect or produce a negative effect.  Biologist B.G. Ranganathan explained the damaging effects of mutations by saying, “Any random change in a highly ordered system will be for the worse, not for the better.  For example, if an earthquake were to shake a highly ordered structure such as a building, there would be a random change in the framework of the building, which, in all probability, would not be an improvement.”  Mutations are a change in DNA, either a faulty section of a DNA molecule or a faulty copy of a DNA molecule; in other words, they are a mistake in the DNA.  Many mutations are caused by gamma rays (a form of energy) from the sun.  When gamma rays hit DNA, they can obliterate it.  This causes a problem when the gamma rays hit reproductive genes and damage them.  Since the gamma rays damage the DNA of the reproductive gene, it can cause a mutation in the DNA of the child.  When DNA is copied from one generation to the next, a mutation causes the loss of some of the information in the DNA.  This is the reason that mutations are always neutral or negative; they subtract information from DNA.  In order to produce a positive change, they would need to add information, which is something that they cannot do.  Generally, mutations are recessive genes, so they will be overridden by the dominant gene of the other parent.  Hence the reason that many genetic mutations do not actually manifest themselves in a child.  In order for a mutation to manifest itself, both parents must carry the recessive mutated gene.  The loss of information in the mutated gene is overridden by the information contained in the dominant, non-mutated gene.  But this loss of information is precisely the opposite of what evolution requires.  Evolution requires added information.  In order for one species to change to another species through mutations, information would need to be added to the genes.  In order for a species to develop wings, the information for wings would need to be added to its DNA.  But this is the exact opposite of what we can observe in mutations.  Mutations are a mistake in information; they are an error.  Instead of adding information, they subtract information.  The very mechanism that Evolutionists claim to be the catalyst for change produces the exact opposite of the change that they hope to see.  Energy alone cannot improve things; it must be harnessed and directed.  Mutations cannot add information to DNA; they only subtract information.

Although genetic mutations are typically recessive, the recessive gene is still passed on to the child.  So for me, if my parents or grandparents passed on a recessive gene to me, even if it was overridden by a dominant gene, then I can still have the recessive gene.  Now I have my own recessive genes added to the gene pool, so I will pass on more recessive, mutated genes to my children and grandchildren.  Over time, these mutated genes will accumulate in what is known as the “genetic load.”  The higher the genetic load, the higher the amount of mutated genes in an organism, and the more likely that the genes will show up in actual physical changes.  This is why it was not a problem for people in the beginning of the Bible to marry close relatives.  For Adam and Eve’s children (and for Noah’s children), the genetic load (amount of mutated genes missing information) would be very low, if it existed at all yet.  So they could safely marry close relatives without harmful mutations manifesting themselves.  But today, with the genetic load being much higher and more mutated genes in the gene pool, the chances of two children having the same recessive gene (received from their parents) is much greater.  If the new child receives the same recessive gene from his parents, then the mutation will manifest itself; hence the reason why it is a problem for close relatives to marry one another today.  We see this phenomenon in purebred animals.  Often, purebred animals (such as dogs) will have close relatives as their parents.  So a purebred dog is likely to have received the same recessive, mutated gene from both parents, and the gene manifests itself in diseases such as epilepsy, diabetes, and joint problems.

Genetic load also provides evidence of a young earth.  If the earth is only several thousand years old, then the genetic load is still relatively small today (although much larger than when it first started).  But if the earth is billions of years old, and humans have been around for millions of years, then the genetic load would be much, much greater.  Since mutations are a loss of information, the information lost over millions of years would be spread throughout the human population and would be so great that it would constantly manifest itself through mutations and deformities.  Hence, the size of the genetic load today lends evidence to the Bible’s clear teaching of a young earth.

As we study the wonder of Creation, we learn more about the magnificent power and wisdom of the Creator, as we see His character through the things that He has made.  Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.”

–Pastor Tim

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