What do creationists believe?
An essay by Les Sherlock
There is no such thing as an ‘unbiased’ scientist. Everyone has a belief
system. Therefore provable scientific facts are usually interpreted according to
the researcher’s expectation. Since education systems and media are both mostly
evolutionist in outlook, the majority of people, from a very early age, are
influenced to the belief that evolution is proven science and factual. The
creationist’s position is that evolution is an interpretation of scientific
facts that are capable of being interpreted in a very different way.
Evolution requires two observations in order to be ‘scientifically proven:’
- A living organism emerging from inanimate matter;
- Transitional forms demonstrating new DNA coding in their genome for a
physical feature not previously seen in their species.
1. The smallest viable organism, capable of independent life and
reproduction, is extremely complex. “The smallest known genome for a
free-living organism, a bacterium, contains about 600,000 DNA base pairs,”
says ‘The Human Genome Project Web Site.’ Therefore the creationist
believes it is absolutely impossible for any random event to produce life from
inanimate matter, even if it were possible to have a ‘primordial soup’ mixture
containing all the necessary ingredients, covering the earth for billions of
years. But no physical evidence of such ‘soup’ has ever been found in the
geological record. The emergence of a living cell from inanimate matter has
never been observed, either ‘naturally’ or in a laboratory. No evolutionary
scientist has been able to produce a viable theory of how it could take place.
Therefore for the evolutionist to believe it happened, he must believe it by
faith, because the event has never been scientifically demonstrated.
2. To date no-one has produced any transitional form that indisputably is at a
part-way stage of developing any feature novel to its species. The
evolutionist’s position is only maintained by displaying some of the large
number of evidences for natural selection, and labeling them ‘evolution.’
But ‘natural selection’ and ‘evolution’ are antonyms, not synonyms, as can be
seen from the following definitions.
|Natural Selection: creatures with physical features enabling them
to survive best are most able to live long enough to produce children. So
the information in the DNA which creates ‘good’ features is passed on by
those better able to survive, while those with ‘less good’ physical features
are more likely to die out and the ‘poorer’ DNA information disappear.
Therefore, the only change natural selection can make is to reduce DNA
information in the new ‘branch’ of a species, or at best, shuffle it around:
it can never increase it. Most examples of ‘evolution’ are, in reality,
natural selection: Darwin’s Galapagos finches come into this category. To
present natural selection as evidence for evolution is like presenting a
video of balls rolling downhill as evidence that unpropelled balls can roll
|Evolution: for a new species to evolve, new information must
appear in the DNA in order to create new physical features. So evolution is
the opposite of natural selection, because it requires an increase in DNA
information, where natural selection normally reduces it.|
|Mutation: this is the only mechanism ever observed that can
create new DNA information. It is a mistake made in copying the DNA when a
cell divides in order to produce two in place of one. For clarity, we will
define two different types of mutation:|
|Negative Mutation: because the mistake in copying DNA is
always random, the result is that the original genetic information is
degraded – in the same way that random change to a computer program will
always impair its function. This then, depending on the bit of
information that has been altered, will usually be seen as damage to
some physical characteristic. Every example of ‘evolution’ produced thus
far, that is not natural selection, has been negative mutation.|
|Positive Mutation: this would be a mistake in copying DNA
resulting in new genetic information, which produces some kind of
physical feature not previously seen in a species, or at least a step
towards it. However, it remains in the realm of speculation, since there
is no specimen anywhere in the world, either living or dead (i.e.
fossilized) that undeniably demonstrates it ever occurring! |
So the creationist’s position is that since the two essential elements of
evolution have never been observed or demonstrated (in other words, scientific
evidence), it takes an act of faith to believe it is the cause of everything we
see around us. The evolutionist’s argument “It must have happened because we
are here: we wouldn’t exist if it hadn’t taken place” is not logical. The
fact that we are here simply demonstrates that we had a beginning; it does not
prove what form that beginning took. Actually, what is meant is: “It must
have happened because we are here and I don’t believe in the existence of a
Creator-God: we wouldn’t exist if it hadn’t taken place.” Of course the
extra bit is not verbalized because that blows their cover and shows the
argument is based on religious faith (the religious belief that God does not
exist) rather than science.
If the theory of evolution were true, then the fossil record would reveal
literally billions of transitional forms. The fact that there have been so many
fraudulent or mistaken claims on this front demonstrates how desperate the
evolutionists are to produce even one! But nothing proves the impossibility for
transitional forms more than the supposed evolution of Homo sapiens from their
common ancestor with apes.
We are told that up to 98.7% of human DNA is identical to apes’ DNA. Various
sites on the Internet report between 98% and 98.7%, so the smallest possible
difference between apes and humans is 1.3%. To avoid exaggeration we will assume
just 1% difference, which is 23% less than the smallest figure accepted by
biologists. Evolutionists believe that apes and humans probably divided from
their common ancestor around 4 million years ago and the first Homo sapiens
appeared around 200 thousand years ago. Therefore the process took about 3.8
million years, although as we shall see, the time period is hardly relevant.
According to ‘The Human Genome Project’ web site the human DNA contains
3,164,700,000 (over 3 billion) base pairs of ‘letters.’ If we assume that half
of the present difference between apes and humans took place in each species (so
0.5%), then 15,823,500 DNA base pairs had to evolve in each species in 3.8
If we take the wildly overoptimistic view that on average all generations
appeared every 12 years, and that there was a positive mutation every ten
generations, then that requires about 500 (499.6894737 to be accurate) base
pairs to mutate in every one of the possible 31,667 (actually, 31,666.66667)
mutations. That creates very serious problems for the evolutionist.
The method of cell duplication in all living things is so accurate that the
likelihood of getting a random mistake of as many as 500 base pairs in any one
mutation is virtually nil. However, even if it did take place, there are protein
‘machines’ in every cell, which are dedicated to monitoring the duplication
process and correcting mistakes. Should a mistake of this magnitude take place,
then it is virtually impossible for it to be overlooked by them. But even if it
were, at conception every male chromosome is matched in fine detail to its
equivalent female chromosome, and if there is any element that does not make a
perfect match, the conception is aborted. So a mutation as large as this could
not possibly be passed on to the next generation. The writer calls this
three-fold safety net (1: accurate duplication in cell division; 2: mistake
trapping; 3: accurate duplication in conception) ‘The Triple Whammy!’
All that being the case, the likelihood of getting such a large surviving
mutation just once is most unlikely: to get it 31,667 times is cloud-cuckoo
land! Furthermore, natural selection requires enough improvement from the
original form to enable the mutant to survive at least as well, if not better,
than its predecessor. There could not possibly be 31,667 improvements between
the common ancestor and man, so it is clearly not possible to assume more
mutations than these calculations allow for in order to reduce the number of
base pairs needing to change. On the other hand, assuming fewer mutations, in
order to produce a viable number of improvements, increases the size of the
mutations and makes it even more impossible that they could avoid ‘The Triple
Additionally, with such a large number of transitional forms necessary, it is
clear that transitional fossils would massively outnumber ‘complete’ ones. The
excuse of punctuated equilibrium for their absence (transitional forms appear
and disappear too quickly for fossils to form) is exposed as ridiculous: that
reduces the possible number of mutations by a huge amount, therefore increases
their size and impossibility accordingly. Indeed, with such large numbers of
transitional forms required between all species, the chances of getting any
period in time when no transitional forms were alive on earth are extremely
remote. Yet no-one can presently identify a single living specimen on earth.
What a coincidence that at the time there is someone around to examine them,
they do not happen to be present! What a coincidence that every time fossils
were formed throughout history, there were no transitional species present to be
Sickle-cell anemia is the result of just one single letter change in the DNA
(for example). So the chance of having 31,667 mutations of 500 letters without
significant damage to the mutants in any of them is zero.
Mutation is a random accident in copying DNA. As there are four different DNA
‘letters’ there are four alternatives for a single ‘letter’ mutation, multiplied
by 4 for every additional letter. So the number of possible combinations of 500
letters (4 multiplied by itself 500 times) is approximately 10300
(1 followed by 300 zeros). That being the case, with odds of 1 to 10300
against producing the right combination of 500 ‘letters,’ it is totally
impossible for a random mutation to succeed even once, let alone 31,667 times.
The fact that there are 31,667 possible viable combinations at the beginning of
the process simply reduces the odds down to about 1 to 10295
and makes no significant difference. The size of this problem is demonstrated by
the fact that it has been estimated there are ‘only’ about 1075
atoms in the entire universe at most.
Bearing in mind the fact that in these calculations we considerably
underestimated the amount of change required, all this demonstrates that even to
move the comparatively small amount from the common ancestor to modern ape and
man is totally impossible: there is absolutely no way to produce the necessary
change of 15,823,500 DNA base pairs in the required time period. So to progress
from a single cell to all the millions of life-forms we see on the earth, even
in billions of years, simply does not stand up to logical scrutiny. Evolutionary
changes between some species would require a change of 20% or more, not merely
But it can be seen that the time period really is irrelevant. However long is
allowed there are still only two alternatives: either more transitional forms,
by orders of magnitude, than natural selection could preserve; or larger
mutations, by orders of magnitude, than could possibly appear and survive
through natural, random processes. There is no other option.
That is not the end of the problems, however. We have assumed that 0.5% of the
common ancestor’s DNA needed to mutate in our branch to produce humankind. To
make this point easier to explain, let us number the letter pairs in our DNA,
with pair number 1 at one end and pair number 3,164,700,000 at the other. Let us
assume the 0.5% of DNA that needed to mutate in order to produce Homo sapiens is
at the beginning of the DNA thread. 1
That means letter pair numbers 1 to 15,823,500 all had to change, while
15,823,501 to 3,164,700,000 had to remain totally unchanged. Now remember that
mutation is a random accident in copying DNA. But every time there was a
mutation, even though the entire DNA was equally vulnerable to change, it only
ever took place in letter numbers 1 to 15,823,500. The likelihood of that taking
place at the first mutation is 1 to 199.
Think of Scrabble tiles. Take 200 tiles and instead of letters, number them from
1 to 200. Put them in a bag and shake it up. Take one tile out at random. It
must be tile number 1. Put it back and repeat the process. It still must be
number 1. Continue doing that 31,667 times. Every time it must be tile number 1
you withdraw. That is what is required for random mutation to change the right
bit of DNA in order to produce humans from the sub human ancestor! It is like
throwing 31,667 darts at a dartboard while blindfolded, and expecting every one
to land in the bull’s eye!
But even worse, the ‘target’ letters decrease in number after each mutation. So
assuming the impossible did happen, by the time you reach the final mutation,
out of the 3,164,700,000 DNA letters, only the final 500 must change: not only
have all the ‘correct’ letters to remain unchanged throughout the whole process,
but all the previously mutated letters must also remain unchanged thereafter.
The chance of random mutation changing the right 500 at that last mutation is
6,329,400 to 1. This means that on average, throughout the whole process, every
time there is a mutation, the chance of it affecting the right letters is
3,164,800 to 1. So to be accurate, instead of randomly finding tile number 1
from 200 Scrabble tiles, we need to do it from 3 million! Statistically, only
one in three million mutations will hit the right spot, and when it does there
are 10300 wrong possibilities
against just 1 correct one in order to get the right combination of letters.
When that takes place, it is just 1 of 31,667 times it needs to do so!
It would be no good evolutionists saying that any part of the DNA could mutate
and we are simply observing the 0.5% that did so. Each ‘letter’ of DNA is
specific to a different aspect of our being, 2
so the only parts that could have changed are specifically those that are now
seen as different. Mutation in any other area would produce damage, which, most
likely, would either be fatal or severely debilitating. Nor could they claim
that mutations took place across the entire DNA but only those in the correct
area were preserved by natural selection. That would mean on average there would
be 3 million mutations in the ‘wrong’ area for every one in the ‘correct’ area.
With the massive amount of mutation required there simply would not be time for
that in the few million years it is assumed the entire process took. Remember,
we are calculating on just 1% difference between man and ape, which is much less
than any biologist would accept to be the case: these figures are considerably
underestimating the size of the problem!
So for sub human to evolve into fully human, not only are there massive odds
against mutation producing the correct letters many thousands of times over,
there are also huge odds against each mutation taking place on the correct part
of DNA code. After all that, there is the ‘Triple Whammy’ to prevent mutation
happening and being passed on in the first place! If evolutionists try to claim
that there are many possible valid mutations and we are simply observing the
ones that happened to occur, then that too is hopeless: even if there were 1
billion possible different, healthy, viable species between common ancestor, ape
and man, that would only reduce the number of 10300
down to 10291, so the effect of
increasing the possibility of evolution by this argument is negligible.
There is one other difficulty: research indicates that a mutation greater than 3
‘letters’ is always fatal. 3
In that case, at the very least, 5,274,500 positive mutations would have to take
place in order to produce the amount of change necessary. So taking our original
scenario of 12-year generations and a positive mutation in every tenth one, then
at the very least it would take over 630 million years (actually 632,940,000) to
complete the process of producing man from the common ancestor. Even if all
generations were only 5 years (i.e. all births at five years old), and there was
a positive mutation in every generation (absolutely impossible), then it would
still take over 26 million years. At that rate of change, all of the earth’s
life forms evolving from a single cell in the primordial soup would take many
times longer than the assumed age of the universe!
Stephen Hawkins says, “…you can disprove a theory by finding even a single
observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory” (A Brief
History of Time, page 11). For decades evolutionists have been accusing
creationists of maintaining a position of faith contrary to the evidence of
science. Now the boot is on the other foot. Plain and simple scientific
observation of genetics demonstrates that the appearance of man from a common
ancestor with apes is totally impossible. According to Stephen Hawkins that is
evidence enough to demolish the entire edifice of evolutionary theory.
What about the fossil record? Doesn’t that prove evolution? Certainly not! There
are no unambiguously transitional forms found in the fossil record. The
creationist would point out that all the record shows is the order in which
these creatures were buried. That order is consistent with a world-wide flood
followed by millennia of localized disasters such as volcanoes, floods,
tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.
The various radiometric dating methods of the rocks are dependent on assumptions
based on the requirements of evolutionary theory: it is assumed the starting
point is known; the rate of change has been consistent; no isotopes have been
introduced or lost. Any observation contrary to the requirements of evolution is
discarded as an aberration. On the other hand, ignoring the ludicrous idea that
God would artificially age the rocks to give them the appearance of antiquity,
the creationist would point out that no-one knows what effect the act of
creation would have had on them. Therefore the starting point is not known.
Additionally the rate of change in the rocks since their creation would have
been significantly altered by the disasters mentioned in the previous paragraph.
For those reasons, to insist the geological formations are millions or billions
of years old is to use a circular argument: these rocks are x years old, because
they contain fossils that are x years old, because they are found in rocks that
are x years old!
The alternative is clear. The massive amount of change required by evolution and
the existence of ‘The Triple Whammy’ to prevent such change taking place,
demonstrates that the only possible way our world and its inhabitants could have
come into being, is by ‘outside interference’ from some source of
intelligence and power beyond anything we could imagine: our Creator-God. This
is not merely superstition or blind religious faith, but is based on sound
scientific, mathematical and logical observation.
- Actually, it doesn’t matter whether the code needing to change was all
together as in this example, or scattered across the DNA; the same principle
- This is the whole point of the human genome project: now the mapping is
completed, the process goes on to discover the function of each of the
individual elements of the DNA.
- Francis Collins, John ; Riordan, Lap-Chee Tsui, "The Cystic Fibrosis
Gene: Isolation and Significance," Hospital Practice, 1990-OCT-15.
Copyright © 2005 by Les Sherlock
Originally posted: 2005-MAR-17
Latest update: 2005-JUL-02
Author: Les Sherlock